Thursday, April 5, 2012

San Francisco de Asis Church, Ranchos de Taos, Part 2 (interior)

 Vintage photograph personal collection Front of San Francisco de Asis Church, Ranchos de Taos
As you enter through the front doors of St. Francis please put away your camera and turn your cell phone off. The following images are from sources such as State and National Archives and are featured here to satisfy the curious and people who simply must have a photograph of the interior of San Francisco de Asis. If this doesn't quite suit your needs please purchase a postcard or small heavy card stock poster from the Church Gift Shop, they carry some beautiful images of the Reredo Altar Screens.
 The interior with some of the 14 stations of the Cross in view on the side walls.
 Vintage Black and White version. The floor and front doors have been recently replaced, the Church has also had a new roof resurfaced and repaired.
 The front Altar as it stood before the wooden carved framework was painted. The paintings here are said to be oil paintings brought to the Taos Church Courtesy of the Archdiocese in Mexico by way of Spain, almost 200 years ago.
 Closer view of the Main Altar with a more traditionally colored painted woodwork.
 Another view of the interior including one of several woodstoves pre-1930.
Throughout the seasons of the calendar year of the Church the group of ladies known as the Guadalupinas dress and decorate the interior for the appropriate High Holy Days. Whether stark or glorious, they do an amazing job.
The side Altar Reredo with some of the most beautiful Retablo paintings of Saints.
Top left to right "Our Lady of Sorrows",  "Our Lady of Immaculate Conception", & Unidentified
Middle Row left to right "Our Lady of Talpa", "The Crucifixion" & "Joseph, Mary & the Innkeeper"
Bottom left to right Unidentified, a Bulto carving of St. Francis w/Our Lady of Sorrows Bulto carvings, "St. Francis"
If you wish to say a prayer and light a candle you are asked to please purchase a candle from the Church Gift Shop, they only allow a very specific low burning candle, others can create a fire hazard. Once you've got your candle you may pass through the roped off area and say your prayers of remembrance for your loved ones. There are bits of straw to light candles with provided under the candle stands, please extinguish your lit straw in the sand bucket provided below as well.
From this photo you can see the image of "Our Lady of Guadalupe" to the left, this painting now hangs over the doorway to the left of the main altar.
Father Bill (William Hart McNichols) has created a large half moon retablo in a contemporary icon style painting which hangs over the door as you exit the Church. Please look up at it's wonder.
 As you turn to leave you will notice the balcony. Today it is roped off, I have been up to it and taken the opportunity to sing aloud from it's height. The sound is amazing even for this rather inadequate voice. For the past few years the Santa Fe Desert Chorale holds a concert in this Church, as I've never been fortunate to attend this or other concerts held here I don't know if they actually sing from the balcony or not.
Out of respect for the Church Community I chose not to include images which contained people. Today many people will take photographs inside during a Wedding, Baptism or First Communion, most would agree this is perfectly acceptable and a joyous occasion to capture a moment of.
I am reminded of an old Navajo Guide I'd hired to tour me through Canyon de Chelly, while I was taking pictures he remarked that I should put the camera away and attend the moment. That my memories of this moment on this day would last forever, he was of course very right.
Thank you very much.
This photograph is taken from the New Mexico Centennial Photo contest website, which participants are asked to re-create the 100 photographs they have chosen as iconic images around the State. I ask that you please refrain from taking image #51 and use instead the B&W image immediately above this one here. I think that will be sufficient, I have notified the Web site contest people of their mistake. Yesterday, April 6 the website contest people notified me that they had indeed made a mistake and that no harm was intended. They had thought the photo was of the inside of the Santurio de Chimayo where you are allowed to take photos of the interior.
If you choose to copy and paste any of these images for your own purpose again I ask that you in turn give a donation to the Church of San Francisco de Asis.


  1. Thank you for this lovely tour. I like the black and white too

  2. Keep on posting these types of articles. I like your blog design as well. Cheers!!!