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Lady Altar

To a stranger, the simple design and almost uniform colouring of the Lady Altar would hardly single it out as an object of special remark. Yet it had an importance of its own and occupies a special place in the life of the Parish and the affections of the people.

It was before this altar that young couples consecrated the affections of their heart by the Sacrament of Matrimony.

The Lady Altar also became the dwelling place for the Blessed Sacrament during the month of October.

It was erected in 1894, arranged and built by Dean Van Hecke. In formation it is of the style of a mediaeval Triptych having in its central niche, a beautifully executed statue in polychromed oak representing the Madonna and Child. It is the work of Jansens of the School of St. Luke of Ghent in Belgium. A small reredos holds two panels painted on copper. The representations are copies of Fra Angelica ' s famous masterpieces, The Annunciation and The Nativity.

Late in 2011, the old altar was replaced with a new shrine in marble which retained the old copper panels. The plinth on which Our Lady's statue stands has the original insignia of MA (Mater Amabilis)embellished with lilies, carved into it. This is also reflected in the new candleabra located there.

Above the altar is a stained glass window, cut in seven portions. Around the central figure of the Heart of Mary are six medallions showing symbols appropriate of six styles of title under which she is invoked in the Litany of Loretto: Comforter of the Afflicted, Virgin of Virgins, Spiritual Vessel, Ark of the Covenant, Virgin Most Faithful and Mystical Rose. A predominant colour of blue light goes to make up the general setting of the whole altarpiece.

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