Monday, April 9, 2012

Sanctuary Transformation

During Lent, Henninger’s completed the final touches on the transformation of the sanctuary of St. Mark Church on the West Side of Cleveland that included new marble furniture and the repositioning of the Church’s crucifix. Late last year, Fr. John Miceli approached Henninger’s to design new sanctuary furniture that would beautify his sanctuary and introduce some marble to the sanctuary, which was awash in a sea of light oak. After multiple designs and numerous meetings discussing the right marble to create depth and beauty to the environment, Fr. Miceli and Henninger’s finalized plans to replace the Church’s Altar of Sacrifice, Altar of Repose, Ambo, and Baptismal Font.

Due to load-bearing restrictions, the furniture was made out of sheets of a beautiful red & green marble that had tinges of purple in it when viewed from afar. All of the slabs of marble were pre-cut and polished as the furniture would consist of cinder block with the pre-cut pieces of marble attached around it to convey the look of large blocks of marble, something that was impossible due to concerns about the flooring in the sanctuary.
After all of the carpet was torn out of the old sanctuary and with the old wooden furniture removed, Henninger’s artisans went to work installing the marble pieces that had been cut and polished in the workshop, putting them into place and securing them. The Altar of Sacrifice and the Altar of Repose were built as two legs, allowed to dry for a day, then were finished off with Mensas the following day by Henninger’s team of installers.

With the Altars completed, the crew went to work installing the newly created baptismal font and the Ambo, putting both together in their new spots in the Sanctuary. Once again, because of weight restrictions, the baptismal font was constructed with cinder block and pre-cut and polished pieces of marble and sealed to ensure that there would be no leakage when filled. The Ambo was positioned over the top step to maximize space in the Sanctuary as well as putting the Word of God closer to the congregation. A shelf was installed on the Ambo for storage and the microphone was connected to the existing audio output.
The tabernacle was returned to the Altar of Repose and the Ambo was finished with a wood-carved emblem of St. Mark that had previously been elsewhere in the Church, now more prominent on the front of the marble Ambo. After the furniture was completed and in place, the sanctuary was ready for new carpet as three shelves were created for the Holy Oils on the wall between the Ambo and the Baptismal Font.

A few months later, Fr. Miceli was ready for the final stage of the sanctuary renovation as Henninger’s removed the crucifix from the back wall, created a new cross that was in proportion to the beautiful wood-carved corpus and suspended the existing cross and the newly-created cross above the sanctuary.
Using scaffolding and wire, Henninger’s positioned the cross behind the Altar to a place in the sanctuary that put the finishing touches on Fr. Miceli’s vision for the sanctuary as it was transformed with new furniture and with a new positioning of the crucifix to add depth and beauty to the sanctuary at St. Mark’s Church for generations to come.

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