It is hard to believe, that in less than a year, the monumental repurposing and renovation of the former Crystal Cathedral into Christ Cathedral for the Diocese of Orange, will be completed. The Solemn Dedication of this herculean and historic project is set for July 17, 2019.
Thanks to Dr. John Romeri, Director of Music Ministries at Christ Cathedral, I’m happy to share these recent photos of renovation progress to date.
The expansive scaffolding in the interior of the Cathedral is required for the placement of the unique quatrefoils that will be in each of the cubes of the space frame. The quatrefoils will regulate the amount of light coming into the Cathedral from the environment as well as providing added resonance for the interior of the Cathedral. This element in the renovation process should be completed by late summer.
Click photos to access slide show:
The concrete floor space has all been poured for the sanctuary areas, Blessed Sacrament Chapel and Baptistery. All of these flooring areas will be surfaced with beautiful marble.
The ample choir loft in the North Balcony, under the organ chambers that are being painted to be in artistic continuity with the interior color scheme of the Cathedral, will be expansive enough to accommodate over 100 singers, instrumentalists as well as the major organ console for the completely refurbished Hazel Wright Memorial organ. There will be a secondary console in the South Balcony.
The undercroft area will accommodate choir rehearsal space, an ample sacristy to accommodate the vesting of priests for large diocesan celebrations, storage as well as a future chapel, dedicated to St. Callistus, as well as a burial vault for the Bishops of Orange together with a columbarium.
Br. Martin Erspamer, OSB, a world-renowned artist from St. Meinrad Archabbey in Indiana, has designed the monumental tapestry of Christ, Lord of the Universe, that will be suspended in the interior of the Cathedral to the right of the sanctuary. This is one of the initial studies for this magnificent artistic element that will be crafted in Belgium.
The Bolivian sculptor, Pablo Eduardo, has been commissioned to design and craft four monumental bronze bas-reliefs that will depict the manifestations of Christ's Divinity from the Gospels: The Adoration of the Magi, The Wedding Feast of Cana, The Transfiguration and The Resurrection. He will also be designing the 14 Stations of the Cross that will be in a similar stylistic fashion and positioned at the foot of each of the transept balconies. The following is an initial study for the 13th Station, Jesus is removed from the Cross:
Finally, the artistic centerpiece of the Blessed Sacrament Chapel will be the exquisite bronze and enameled tabernacle by the world-renowned liturgical artist of the last century, Egino Weinert, from Cologne, Germany. The following video produced by the Diocese of Orange, presents a more detailed explanation of the tabernacle. Please note, the video was produced prior to some additional changes to the interior Cathedral design. The Sacrament Chapel will no longer be located in a dedicated space behind the area of the cathedra, but rather in a more ample and accessible space, opposite the Baptistery, on the Eastern side of the Cathedral.