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Friday, April 18, 2008

St. Paul's First Lutheran in the NoHo

Original Altar - Saint Paul's Lutheran Church in North Hollywood - Photo by Gerald Fecht for the Archives of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley 2008
This beautiful white altar is now on the right side of Saint Paul's First Lutheran Church.
The actual altar is the table at the center of the photograph. The mensa or table represents the table at which Jesus sat during his Last Supper (His last Seder meal with his apostles). The altar linens are in origin, the table cloth and napkins associated with the Passover Dinner held on the Thursday before Good Friday, when Jesus was killed.
The higher part of the structure was a western European reversal of the icon screen that would have blocked the altar table from the view of early congregations. On the backdrop are symbols common to all branches of Apostolic Christianity. Just above the altar table is a structure called in ancient times, the Ark. Lutherans have moved the scriptures on to the center of the table, symbolizing a key element in their Reformation, the printing of the Bible in the language of the people.
In front of the altar are two candle holders that represent the fulfillment of the laws of the ancient Hebrews in the teachings of Jesus.

3 comments:

Gerald R. Fecht said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gerald R. Fecht said...

Our Museum Board Member Shel Weisbach comments:
Truly interesting - if I were
to guess, without having any information on the altar's bkgd I would
have thought it was from a small town, perhaps rural, congregation;
created by one or more members of the church who had had carpentry
training. But, a hundred years ago NoHo was a rural community! The
craftsmanship actually reminds me of older San Joaquin Valley churches.

Gerald R. Fecht said...

The Lutheran Community may very well had a master carpenter among them in North Hollywood when this altar was built. German-Americans often came form wood-working backgrounds, as did the other northern Europeans.