SBM.11c02b View of interior of Sacred Heart Chapel from choir loft
SACRED HEART CHAPEL INTERIOR - SAINT BENEDICT'S MONASTERY, ST. JOSEPH, MN 1914-1983
This view highlights the sanctuary and the large marble dial in the floor -- also the dial under the dome. The sanctuary, 32 feet wide and 45 feet deep, was made larger than usual to accommodate the investiture and profession ceremonies for classes of candidates and sisters numbering as high as 40. This view clearly shows the elevation and separation of the sanctuary from the rest of chapel. The main level of the sanctuary floor was 28 inches above the floor under the dome, and the main altar was on a level 27 inches above the sanctuary floor. A plush covered rope guard with bronze standards also separated the communion rail area from the sanctuary. Before Vatican II Council, no one was allowed in the sanctuary during liturgical services except the priest and male servers. The only exceptions made in parishes were the bridal couples during the wedding ceremony, and in convents, the novices on investiture day and the sisters professing vows. The communion railing of solid 6-inch slabs of Carrara marble connected by a bronze gate completed the separation of sanctuary from the assembly. (Note: the communion rail was covered during the distribution of communion by a white linen cloth."
This view also highlights the unique design and placement of the 144 choir stalls. Each choir stall was 4 feet wide and 9 feet deep. The 72 stalls on each side were arranged in four banks, each graduated by 2 inches from the dome floor to the shrines in the apses.
The harmony of all the furniture and fixtures was due to the fact that the same skilled architect, Mr. Hackner, designed and furnished the whole interior.
Vivarium; Saint Benedict's Monastery - St. Joseph, MN