THE BOMBAY SEMINARY: The Chapel

 The Spiritual Formation of a Seminarian is the crux of his life, not only as a promising priest but also as a disciple of Christ. Spiritual Formation includes a Life of Prayer manifested through daily Eucharist, Liturgy of the Hours, devotional prayers, frequent confession, devotion to the Blessed Mother, regular retreats, personal reflection, meditation, and guidance.    

Needless to state, the Chapel forms a very integral part of the Goregaon Seminary. Every floor of this ‘Sermon in Stone’ is equipped with a House of Prayer. However, the Main Chapel is housed in the Middle Wing, above the Hall. It holds a capacity for accommodating at least, 400 people.

Like most Churches, the Bombay Seminary Chapel has a cruciform ground plan. It consists of a long rectangular structure with a central nave and arched windows along each of the side walls. The beamed ceiling is unadorned except for rose medallions from which are suspended metallic chandeliers. The nave terminates with a semi-circular apse adorned with a beautiful mosaic of the Last Supper.

A decorative form of art, a mosaic pattern/picture is made up of small regular/ irregular pieces of colored stone, glass, marble, ceramic, or other materials set in a bed of cement, plaster, or adhesive. Originally developed in ancient Greece, mosaic patterns popularly decorated the ancient Christian Basilicas. It fell out of fashion during the Renaissance and was replaced by fresco paintings.

Let’s take a closer look at the Last Supper mosaic in the Seminary Chapel. The arena is a closed rectangular room. The balance of the scene is set by the gigantic white table cloth. Christ occupies the center of the composition while six apostles are seen on His either side. Unlike popular depiction, notice that Christ stands. His right hand is raised in benediction, blessing the chalice placed before Him. The work reflects the moment of significance, i.e. the Institution of the Holy Eucharist. This is affirmed by the words below – ‘HOC FACITE IN MEAM COMMEMORATIONEM’ which translates as ‘Do This In Memory Of Me’.

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