Sanctuary & Main Altar – Infant Jesus Church, Sacramento, CA

The sanctuary of Infant Jesus Church is located at the southern end of the building within a niche designed as an apse in the low-ceilinged structure. The focal points of worship within this sacred niche of the sanctuary can be enclosed by a red chancel veil, with gold trim and ornamentation, as part of the Holy Qurbana ceremony.

On the back wall are three important images (from left to right): A dark-wood Crucifix holding the lifeless body of Jesus beneath a parchment inscribed with INRI (Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum, “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews”); a larger-than-life, light-colored wood image of the Resurrected Jesus with His arms raised in the triumph of salvation; and an emblem of the Syro-Malabar Church, the Saint Thomas Cross.

An altar table atop a dark-wood pedestal engraved with a Chi-Rho symbol and the Eucharistic symbols of a chalice, stalks of wheat and grapes stands just ahead of a golden tabernacle. The golden cylinder has a cross inscribed on the opening doors just next to a red-globed sanctuary lamp symbolizing the actual present of Christ in the Eucharist. On either side wall of the sanctuary are two dark-wood niches designed as places of preparation of the holy bread on one side and wine on the other.

Ahead of the separating chancel veil is another smaller altar table (the bema) for use when the presider is facing the congregation. This table is draped with a white cloth and edged along the top with symbols and colors. On either side of this altar are podiums used to proclaim the readings from the Gospels and Bible. Each podium of dark-wood has a symbolic engraving on the front. On the right podium is a shield bearing symbols of the four evangelists; and on the left a carving of the crossed keys of St. Peter, the Alpha-Omega symbol of the ever-presence of God, and hands clasped symbolizing the connection between heaven and earth.

%d bloggers like this: