He is Risen. and stuck in traffic in the parking lot.
Unless something appears that is radically better than this frame, this is the earliest yet that I’ve posted My Final Photo.
The photo of a packed parking lot with the transit of cars from two Masses attempting to quickly navigate roadways designed for more moderate traffic completes my 40 Days of Lent series that began Ash Wednesday and is finished today.
I’m not sure how many photos I shot during the daily visits to the church. I do know that I’m probably among a small number of parishioners who’ve visited the church every day for Lent. I’m positive I’m the only one who did it with a camera.
Good Friday is a unique day for Catholics for more than all the obvious Easter related reasons.
This is the day the Tabernacle sits empty. It is the only day when the Blessed Sacrament is not in the church revered and protected in its place at the altar.
All adornment is removed, covered , or extinguished. Altar cloths are removed. Candles are extinguished. Statues are covered in purple cloth.
The celebration of the presence of Christ is removed from the church. For one day it is emptied of faith.
My original idea for My Final Photo was very simple. I’d shoot the empty Tabernacle to illustrate the dramatic change in the church. And I’d shoot a couple of the statues now draped in purple with the normal presence of prayer candles at their sides. This was an easy part of the day. Not too much difficulty in either of these photos.
I left the church for a short side trip before going home for a fish dinner but quickly returned when the clouds changed as sunset approached. I knew there would be difficulty shooting the church with the sun radiating through the clouds behind it. The church is great to see, but there are a lot of objects in the foreground that can be distracting for a photographer. Plus, any shooting position is from a lower angle than the church so the cross spire only shows if you shoot it from an oblique angle.
Fortunately, or blessedly if you’re faithful, the clouds moved through a variety of configurations with the cross atop the church framed by openings in the clouds and with the sun moving across the sky behind it.
I was late for dinner. I was blessed on a day the church was empty.
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I’ve spent several weeks going to church every day. My mother and grandmother would be proud. My father would be as proud but wouldn’t talk about it very much. It wasn’t that he lacked faith. He was just glad to be alive after floating several days in the Mediterranean Ocean when his destroyer was sunk by a German torpedo plane. He paid back the favor of survival with good deeds, kind words, and no complaints.
My task isn’t necessarily one of faith. I’ve spent every day at church hoping to put together a series of photos that show some of the things that happen at St. Paul during the Easter season. I began on Ash Wednesday with a photo of a grandchild with the smoky sign of the cross on her forehead.
Today’s photo is an exterior to show the front of the church as it will never be seen again. At least, that’s the plan.
Workers tomorrow will install a new stained glass window in the middle circular window above the entrance. It will be dedicated to Father Lavelle who recently retired from the parish. The cost was borne by parishioners whose donations paid for the window. More than enough was raised so additional stained glass windows will be installed later.
Shot as a three frame 2-stop HDR image processed in Oloneo PhotoEngine and Photoshop.
I hope to be back tomorrow night about the same time for a photo of the new window shining brightly above the doorway.
To add to the Lenten collection, here’s an iPhone photo of stained glass from inside the church. It was shot with the Constructr app processed with Camera+.