Saturday, March 26, 2011

San Pedro Cathedral, stepping on Theological history

San Pedro Cathedral, one of the largest Catholic Churches in Asia, made another history with its newly refurbish altar and tabernacle. The grand renovation, which partly done in Baroque architecture, has a stunning contrast of Gothic and Renaissance designs ushering both Theological and modern influences. This is quite interesting since only few Catholic churches in the Philippines so far use Baroque architecture. The structure is furnished in Auburn color accentuated with panel of Gold shade with emblems of Eucharistic mystery. The tabernacle has a luminous ray of Sapphire and Cobalt blue combinations.  
 
 The Cathedral's roof structure is designed like a boat symbolizing St. Peter's humble beginning. According to the Holy Bible, when he was handpicked by Jesus Christ to be His disciple, he was still Simeon, the Fisherman, Jesus then renamed him Peter and was later on selected as the "rock" whom Christ built His church. St. Peter became the first Pope, thus, all Popes are called Vicars of Christ and successors to the throne of St. Peter.
My favorite Vicar of Christ, Pope John Paul II the Great, who will be BEATIFIED this May 1, 2011. Due to his unique charisma, kindness and humility, he was dubbed by the international media as the most beloved Pope of all time.

Since my college years, I regularly attended mass at the San Pedro Cathedral and spent quiet moments at the adoration chapel (on the right wing) when I am "down", there, I find solace and peace of mind while silently sharing all my resentment, misery and longing to God and other Saints. Lately, I developed a habit, in reverence to the cathedral's rules, of not bringing my cellphone when going to the church.

But today, March 27, I accidentally tuck it under my pocket but I didn't go back to my room because I might not catch the 12:00 noon mass. I switched it off though. When I arrived at the gate, I was amazed with the fantastic renovation, right then I understood why my cellphone insisted to accompany me to the church..hehe!


The luminous backdrop, done in Baroque architectural design featuring Auburn with a sparkling panel of gold shades. The structure represents the stunning contrast of Gothic and Renaissance period with Theological influence. 
 The altar's center is highlighted with the image of the crucifixion of Jesus (I am still wondering why the Cathedral still uses this image since according to our parish priest in Surigao all Catholic Churches must used the Christ image in resurrection). On Jesus's right side is Mother Mary and on the left is St. Peter. For people who often wondered with the statues being put on the Church's altar, here it is: According to Vatican II council, there will only two "statues" to be put along with Jesus on the altar, first is Mother Mary, second is the patron saint of the parish.
The elegant Pulpit with images of Catholic saints carved on it. I am sorry I forgot to come closer to the "stand" to see who are these saints, I will find it next Sunday.
The Cathedra (the name of bishop's chair) is positioned in Apse, semi-Baldachinum structure with details similar to the Catholic churches in Rome, Italy. Apse, which is famous among Europe's churches, is not traditionally part of the bishop's chair sanctuary in the Philippine Catholic churches, so this latest development in San Pedro Cathedral will surely draw interest from churchgoers and visitors.
Adoration chapel on the right wing of the Cathedral, one of my favorite "hang-out" areas when I am in deep trouble
 The right wing of the Cathedral where I find peace of mind when I am emotionally bothered
The left-wing chapel where confession booths are situated. The resurrected Christ dominates the center of the altar
Fr. Life Simbajon after the 12:00 noon mass. I trotted (with other photographers, hehe!) in front of the altar while Fr. Simbajon gave his blessings to the children but I didn't take a front shot of him because it is highly inappropriate and unethical. All religious authorities should be respected inside the church
Full view of the Cathedral's stunning altar featuring Baroque and Ciborium designs with Theological influence

So after the mass, I immediately pulled my cellphone and took pictures. Ever wondered why I didn't have a close-up shot of the altar? It's because the Catholic Church rule strictly prohibits people to take on the altar-ledge (steps leading to the Eucharistic table) to do pompous activities like taking pictures, it is always considered a sacrilege.

2 comments:

Kathy said...

WOW! I haven't been there in over 3 months (I guess)..i'll check out the place real soon..it's lookin fantazzztic :)

JOYCE LAMELA said...

Thanks kat for your precious comment!hehehe