A 10-foot tall wooden cross on which is the figure of Christ crucified is the cynosure of all eyes at St. Anthony’s Church, Muruthana, Kochchikade. “When we make such hallowed creations, we need to be filled with spiritual strength. I always pray to God when making such a creation. I feel God is doing it [...]

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Skyward-looking statue of Christ

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Cross and statue done in Gothic tradition

A 10-foot tall wooden cross on which is the figure of Christ crucified is the cynosure of all eyes at St. Anthony’s Church, Muruthana, Kochchikade.

“When we make such hallowed creations, we need to be filled with spiritual strength. I always pray to God when making such a creation. I feel God is doing it through me,” says Chilaw artist Mihindu Kulasooriya Chandana? Fernando,47, who made the cross, and the statue of? the Crucified Christ.

“This 10- foot cross in teak wood and six-foot tall? statue of Christ is made? according to the? Gothic tradition,” the artist says, explaining that Fr. Dinesh Priyashantha, parish priest of Thoppu Kochchikade showed him a photograph he had taken at a church in Barcelona when he visited there.

Fr Dinesh Priyashantha said this statue is modelled on the statue at the Basilica de la Sagrada Familia. The face of Jesus is turned towards the sky. “When we look at the Holy face of Jesus, we feel our attention is also taken to Heaven. Greeks and Romans believed that the Holy Altar should be built at a higher elevation. They believed that when the altar is high we are closer to God. If you look at a Gothic Church you could see these structures like spires, pinnacles, arches, flying buttresses etc., have been built with purpose.”

Artist: Mihindu Kulasooriya Fernando

Auxiliary Bishop of Colombo Dr. J.D. Anthony Jayakody, recently consecrated the high altar, the cross, the statue of crucified Jesus and the tabernacle at the Muruthana church.

Apart from his paintings like the Last Supper beside the Holy Altar, Fernando works with metal, fibre, cement, sand and other materials.

70-year-old Alfred Basnayake of Batepola, Katana , who created the altar and the tabernacle says after his O’Ls while training to be a mechanic, he began making ‘gokkola’ thoranas,stages etc.

The Parish Priest of Batepola Rev Fr. Samantha Kurera’s request to make a tabernacle for the church was the turning point for him. “Rev. Fr was pleased with it and then he asked me to make an altar of Kumbuk wood. It was with that, that I started my creations.”

 

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