Vergers voice #42
Today we are going to go from the Nave to the Chancel area. The Chancel is usually a raised area, at least in older churches where the Clergy and other worship leaders sit and like here there is usually room for the choir and organ. In the early church this area was designed with a heavy rood screen and rails to protect the holy vessels and elements at the altar, over time the area was opened up to be more visible from the nave. Many churches have done away with the rood screen and front rail all together and just left the altar rail.
As we enter into the Chancel there has only been two major changes to the area. In the original plans there was no pulpit. The priest spoke from the steps or aisle. The pulpit we have now was crafted by J.P. Redington and Company of Scranton, Pennsylvania and was given as a memorial to Richard Bradley Mears by the Mears family. A dedication was held on February 17,1974.
In 1908 when the first service was held here at St. Andrew’s the Mollar organ we have now wasn’t in place. Although, what we now call the organ room, was just part of the chancel. The pump organ that was used in the St. Andrew’s chapel that was located in the newspaper office on Earl Street was used here until 1927 when the new organ was built. Our first organ was donated by a Miss McNalty of Chambersburg a member of Trinity and Howard Mitten was the first organist. This was a foot powered organ where pedals had to be pumped while playing to keep air to the pipes.
In 1927 after the death of John Phillips his wife, Anna, gave the Mollar organ we listen too today as a memorial to her husband John. It was built by the Mollar Organ Company in Hagerstown, Maryland and was considered one of the finest organs of the day. Behind the console, wood panels and gold pipes are the pumps, pipes and wood framing that makes the organ sound as good as it does.
If you look up you will see the Sanctuary lamp, sometimes called the eternal light. Just above the credence shelf is the original lamp, that was replaced with an oil lamp and now we use a battery candle for safety reasons.
Next time we go behind the Altar rail.