Sanctuary and Altarpiece — Infant Jesus Church, Bangalore

The focal point of the sanctuary, just above the main altar, is a large wooden altarpiece depicting the Nativity Scene.

The carved wooden piece is very large (6 by 9 meters) and hangs on the wall behind the main altar depicting the Nativity Scene with baby Jesus in a straw crib, Mary and Joseph; surrounded by a couple of shepherds, a small boy, some sheep and a dog. A ray of light seemingly emanating from heaven, as the origination point is clouds surrounded by angels, in shining down on the Baby in the crib. In the top left of the scene is a crucifix with Jesus on it, to depict the sorrow and salvation that will follow the Nativity. During the Christmas season, atop the piece is a banner with the words, “Gloria in Excelsis Deo”. The central images of the carving are painted in color while most of the images outside the central scene are more drab, consistent with the illumination of the heavenly light. The carving is reportedly modeled after the Nativity Scene in the Nativity Church in Jerusalem.

Just below the large altar piece is a smaller version of the Infant Jesus statue surrounded by red neon lights. On this statue is a large golden crown, as well as a glistening robe. When the surrounding lights are illuminated, it is a lovely image for contemplative meditation and prayer.

The altar table itself is also a carved wooden piece with a beautiful depiction of Jesus’ Last Supper on the front. As with most altar tables, this one is covered by an ornate cloth which is varies by season and occasion. Behind the altar table are five chairs for the presiders of the Mass.

To the left of the altar table is an image of Divine Mercy Jesus and a speaker’s podium; to the right is a golden tabernacle in front of a golden drape.

The backdrop of the main altar is a wooden panel with vertical glossy slats – simple enough to not detract from the beauty of the surrounding images. On special occasions, such as Christmas, the back wall is draped in color and flowers.

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