SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral Sanctuary Furnishings, Altar
Cioffi, Paul L., 1928-2004
The Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul was built in 1905-07. Its facade was completed in 1936; at the same time, some of its interior elements were renovated. But by the late 1970s the building was deteriorating. Bishop George J. Biskup decided to act; his successor, Bishop Edward T. O'Meara (1980-1992) carried out the renovations. Minnesota architect Edward A. Sövik supervised modifications, redesigning the aging cathedral into a worship space that reflects the Second Vatican Council's liturgical theology and subsequent ritual reforms. One change was to move the early 20th c. marble altar and to place the large, table-like wooden altar (pictured here) in the sanctuary's center. Its simple, stately design is in harmony with the ambo and lectern created for the renovated Cathedral. In this way the sanctuary furniture design underscores the equal importance of the Liturgy of the Word (reading of Scripture and preaching) and the Liturgy of the Eucharist. During the liturgy, the altar would be draped with a linen altar cloth, not unlike a tablecloth. At other times (as in the picture), it is draped with a beautiful tapestry. Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral was rededicated May 14, 1986. ca. November 1989
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