Main Altar and Sanctuary — St. Joseph Church, Geneva

The wood reflects the medium of The Carpenter (St. Joseph the Patron Saint), and the ceiling shows patterns of the Holy Trinity.

The main altar and sanctuary are located at the south end of the church building beneath an arched ceiling of three circular patterns bringing to mind the concepts of the Holy Trinity. The focal point of the church is the large wood and plaster crucifixion scene hanging high overhead above the ribbed-wood altar backdrop. The life-size body of Jesus hangs on the cross in death between a parchment inscription of “INRI” (Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudeorum, “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews”). The statues of the three in sorrow at the foot of the cross are also life-size (see more about the Crucifixion scene on a separate page). The statues of three, as well as the body of Jesus, and most other statues and stained-glass windows in the church were part of the original church structure which housed the parish for nearly one-hundred years (See more in Story of the Church). Directly behind the elevated crucifix is a round window with a mosaic pattern of the sun.

Embedded in the backdrop of the altar is the original golden tabernacle with an ornate image of the cross with angels on either side holding the Eucharistic bread and wine. The Greek symbols for Alpha and Omega on the tabernacle represent the ever-present nature of God. Bowing angels (original) also flank the tabernacle to make a sacred backdrop for the altar table constructed of light-colored hardwood with routed decorative feathers and etchings. The hardwood used throughout the church results in a beautiful, coordinated effect and reflects the medium of The Carpenter of Nazareth (St. Joseph the Worker). Beneath the altar table is a small original statue of a white lamb symbolizing Christ as the sacrifice for the salvation of all, i.e. Old Testament sacrifices such as Abraham’s lamb and the lamb of Passover (see christianiconography.info). Wood chairs are provided for the presider(s) and altar servers; the lectern on the left of the sanctuary is also made of matching wood.

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