Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Making Something Old Into Something New

I saw it as I entered the building. It is beautiful! The tabernacle sitting on top of this beautiful marble-topped stand. "How lovely that is, and how perfectly it fits that space!" I thought to myself.

Well, it is at St. Peter's in Santa Maria. This past Sunday morning I celebrated the re-dedication of the sanctuary post-renovation. It was, as reported in my last blog, a Spirit-filled, beautiful liturgy.

St. Peter's Church is a charming Old English style building with a wooden spire topped with a rooster weather vane (one of my favorite objects to collect -- roosters!). The building was erected in 1932.

The tabernacle is the original -- which, before the renovation, was located behind the altar. With the renovation the pulpit was removed and the old, closed off chancel was opened up for easy access and to make the space more conducive to different ways to set up the chancel and the nave.

Where to put the tabernacle?

Well, there was this nice wall, but what to put the tabernacle on? The answer came as a movement of the Spirit . You see, the pulpit was removed and laid on its side in the space where the tabernacle now resides. The Spirit moved as the people stood there -- Aha! Take the old pulpit (which was part of the building as it was opened in 1932) and cut it down. But wait -- there's more! As it turned out, a member of the parish had an old piece of marble her father had brought back (from Italy?) in the 1930's which was stored in her garage. An artisan measured it to fit, cut it to size and beveled the edges and -- voila! Re-tooling existing, era-appropriate pieces created something new and beautiful!

I think the Spirit was moving that day. It was when the pulpit was lying there, with the people standing there not not knowing what would happen to the pulpit or what to put the tabernacle on that a re-visioning took place.
Lord, grant us the eyes to see, the ears to hear, and a heart open to your work among us. Amen.

1 comment:

  1. Re-purposing often elevates a thing to something greater than it was.