Sacred Heart Parish Church -
Diocese of Los Angeles, California
Sanctuary Interior Renovation
and Furnishing of Liturgical Elements
Sacred Heart Church is located at 2889 North Lincoln Avenue, Altadena, California.
With the ideas brought forth by our client, Fr. Jose Vaughn Banal, its pastor, we derived a baroque-influenced design for its reredos or back altar screen and its front altar. The existing features of the church are in the Mission Revival style, inspired by the influence of Spanish missions in the late 18th and early 19th century in California, as well as in some Mexican cities.
The existing stained-glass window with the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus that is prominently located at the back center of the church interior prompted our client to retain and work around it. This left the design to work on the lower one-third of the back wall height. The ornate design of the reredos made use of the four linear lines radiating from the three arches. In effect, the back altar served to carry the three arches, thus, creating three bays – the center for the existing tabernacle, and the sides for images of two famous saints – Saints Peter and Paul. The tabernacle had been elevated and artificially lighted to announce its prominence, but still within arms’ reach.
Carvings were introduced into the design with Latin American twist which was common in most Mexican cities. These carvings were mostly gilded in finish with tinges of contrasting backgrounds particularly that behind the tabernacle. Relatively blank areas are made interesting with incisions of appropriately selected patterns. Since the Church was dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a carving of His Sacred Heart was added right at the top center of the reredos to clearly signify its meaning. Underneath was a mosaic design of an image of the Lamb of God.
These features were also manifested across the designs for the front altar, the lecterns, the crucifix, and candle holders. The concept of giving glory to God was the core element of the design and it was the basis of showing what is best for Him in a mundane way.