April 16, 2017, Easter Sunday. As the parishioners of the Most Holy Trinity Parish, Balic-balic, Sampaloc, entered their church to celebrate Easter Sunday, they gazed in amazement at the unveiled new altar almost 5 years in the making.
Before and after mass, many of the parishioners, old and young, raised their phones for the selfie/groupie moment with the newly renovated altar as the backdrop. Sophie Pamintuan, 7 years old, liked the new altar as it seemed to her “bigger and better” than the old one. Indeed, by opening the old left and right side altar, the architects achieved an overall sense of increased sacred space.
The dominant shade of white made the altar space brighter and lighter which added to the sense of vastness of the sacred space. Even the altar windows were replaced with non-colored glass. We are not sure if all the white space will remain white (original design intent) or if it simply meant the parish lacked funds to complete the architect’s vision.
Nevertheless, intentional or not, the “minimalist” white sacred space provided the perfect background to highlight the dynamic colors of the image of the patronal saint placed at the altar’s center (unlike the original architect’s plan to place the image at the farthest lower left most side of the altar), a new crucified Christ (artist unknown), and the original tabernacle.
Word is that the altar’s blessing will be celebrated on Trinity Sunday this coming June 11, 2017.