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Friday, June 3, 2016

The Doors to Saint Mary's Are Open... in Albany, New York

Eric and I have spent our afternoon touring churches in Duanesburg and Albany during The New York Landmark Conservancy's Sacred Sites Open House.  Each one: Christ Church Episcopal, Saint Andrew's Episcopal, First Church and The Cathedral of All Saints are very different from each other.... Made of wood or made of stone... small and intimate or made of stone and vast... very simple or elegant or ornamented, each Sacred Site is unique.

While on Pine Street, I noticed open doors at Saint Mary's on the corner of Lodge Street.  I asked Eric to stop the car.  We were both kind of "churched out," but I didn't want to miss the opportunity to tour one more church.

Incorporated in 1796, Saint Mary's
oldest Catholic Church in New York
State, after Saint Peter's in New

The fast growing catholic congregation needed larger worship space.  This is the third and final Saint Mary's Church in downtown Albany.  Designed by Charles Nichols in the Romanesque Revival style, the cornerstone was laid in 1867 and the Altar was consecrated in 1870.  

The outer doors look very
secure with over-sized hinges
& large door knobs.

Saint Mary's is dedicated to

The Sanctuary is beautiful,
very ornate.

The lighting is excellent
in Saint Mary's, like
First Church.

Galleries line the length of the church.  My surmise is that older churches often have galleries.

Stained glass windows line
the walls.

The wooden relief is one of

A close up photo of
the Confessional.

The Priest sits in the screened off middle section to provide the Sacrament of Confession. Parishioners enter, close the curtain, kneel, confess their sins and ask for forgiveness.  The priest absolves the parishioner of his or her sins and gives the confessor prayers to say after he or she has been forgiven.

The pews have folding

Facing the entrance of
Saint Mary's on
Lodge Street.

This very large, ornately decorated church reminds me of lavish interiors in European castles and manor houses.

A close up of the Pipe Organ

The design of many Catholic churches provides space for the organ and choir in the back of the church, above the main doors.

The Sanctuary & Altar
from a distance

Angels "float" above the Tabernacle, where the Host and holy wine is kept.  Catholics believe that a bread product and wine is transformed into the body of Jesus Christ during religious ceremonies.

A closer look at the
Altar & Tabernacle

Mary float in the clouds
above the Altar.  

This Devotional Area, to the right
of the Altar is where worshipers
light a candle and pray for

Catholic churches have statues representing God, Jesus Christ, Mary and the Saints.  By comparison, Protestant churches are simply decorated.  There are no intervening figures in Protestant churches to assist a worshiper in religious practices.

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