Before and After: Blessed Sacrament in Lawton, Oklahoma

Continuing on with our 'Before and After' series, we turn today to another parish, Blessed Sacrament in Lawton, Oklahoma. They say that when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade and the parish in question was able to take advantage of the restrictions on public masses during this time to implement its sanctuary project, done in collaboration with King Richard's Liturgical Design and Contracting

The views above were taken from the choir loft, but anyone who has been in loft realizes it is a very different perspective. Here is a look at the new sanctuary arrangement (sans its ornaments) as seen from the nave:

These views, however, were taken prior to the rest of the ornaments being in place, so here is a look at the altar and reredos with them in place:

(Based upon this rendering, it looks as though this is a usable high altar)

Here are a few more details:

The door of the tabernacle

The face of the freestanding altar

As usual, here is the "before the before" picture showing the sanctuary as it stood in 1945 -- a typical late 19th through first half of the twentieth century arrangement.

Since it can be too easy for people to assume the 'before the before' is somehow always better in every way, I will say that the overabundance of statuary in and around the side altars as well the electric illumination on the front of the high altar are not, to my mind, "losses" to be lamented. (Perhaps a better post-conciliar approach at that time would have been to simply clean up some of these details -- including perhaps repositioning the rood found on top of the reredos and placing it across a rood beam instead.) Whatever the case, the newly installed arrangement has restored a far more classical ordering to the sanctuary than its immediate predecessor and has also introduced some beautiful woodwork and tasteful colour and gilding into the mix. 

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