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Inside the Church

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Below you should see a rotating panorama of the complete inside of the Mission Church. You should be able to click on the panorama to stop the rotation at any point and then drag the mouse left, right, up, or down to see any specific area. If you have a mouse wheel, it should be able to be used to zoom in and out. If one or more of these behaviors does not work click on the full screen icon (top right corner) and try the behavior again. If you are at full screen, press the ESCape key to have the panorama return to this page.

Panorama taken 2/20/2012 and created with PTGui panorama photo software

We'll start our tour inside the Mission Church. While most services are held in the basilica next door, some special services are held in the Mission Church. (Click on any image to expand it in a lightbox. You will also have the option of viewing them as a slideshow.)

Church Medium ViewExpand
Picture taken 11:00am 20 Feb 2012

Four tombs are under and near the sanctuary...

Lt. Don Jose Joaquin Moraga(13 Jul 1785)
Lt. Joaquin graveExpand
Picture taken 12:55pm 31 Aug 2003
Three individuals...
Guadalope Garduno (15 Jun 1848 at 36)
Daughter Maria Concpceion (21 Oct 1853 at 13)
Son Espiridion (18 Mar 1861 at 22)

Expand
Picture taken 12:55pm 31 Aug 2003
William Alexander Leidesdorff (18 May 1848)
Leidesdorff graveExpand
Picture taken 12:55pm 31 Aug 2003
Rev. Richard Carroll (31 Mar 1861)
Carroll graveExpand
Picture taken 12:55pm 31 Aug 2003

Father Carroll's grave is also marked with a larger marker on the left side of the sanctuary. It's difficult to see as the sanctuary is closed to visitors. It reads...

To the
Memory of the
VERY REV. RICHARD CARROLL.
Pastor of this church
and Vicar Capitular
of the Vicariate of Marysville
Born in
Kilkenny Co. Ireland
about 1828
Died in San Francisco
on Easter Sunday 1861

Father Carroll MemorialExpand
Picture taken 1:15pm 31 Aug 2003

The main altar and reredos behind are a spectacular example of art of the period. As mentioned in the history, the reredos you see here arrived at the Mission around 1800 and were probably the grandest example of the art in the mission system at that time. There are a number of saints represented so below I'll show you the entire area and then below that close up pictures of the various sections (left to right, top to bottom) with identifications...

Altar AreaExpand
Picture taken 11:01am 20 Feb 2012

St. Francis in Ecstasy(small statue), San Joaquim (Joachim)
Top LeftExpand
San Miguel Arcangel (Michael)
Top CenterExpand
Santa Clare of Assisi, St. Francis with Stigmata(small statue)
Top RightExpand
Santa Maria (Immaculate Conception)
Bottom LeftExpand
Holy Cross
Cross Middle BottomExpand
Santa Ana (St. Anne)
Bottom RightExpand
Tabernacle
TabernacleExpand
Altar
AltarExpand
All pictures taken ~11:40am 20 Feb 2012

The main sanctuary is flanked on both sides by left and right altars positioned in front of the main altar rail but outside the sanctuary. All of the statues date from the mission period. The statue of San Pasqual Baylon (North side altar) has only recently been accurately identified. Previously it was thought to be San Diego de Alcala.

Left (South) Side Altar
Left Side AltarExpand
Picture taken 1:10pm 31 Aug 2003

Left to right the statues represent: San Juan Capistrano (John of Capistrano), San Jose (St. Joseph), San Buenaventura (St. Bonaventure)

Right (North) Side Altar
Right Side AltarExpand
Picture taken 1:10pm 31 Aug 2003

Left to right the statues represent: San Pasqual Baylon, San Antonio de Padua, San Francisco de Solano

Holy Water fontExpand
Picture taken 1:10pm 31 Aug 2003

Toward the rear of the church you'll find a Holy Water font believed to be original as well as what looks like two swinging doors. When swung out from the wall these form a confessional. Men would confess their sins directly to the padre while women would confess their sins to the padre through one of the holes with the door between the woman and the padre.

There are no Stations of the Cross hanging in the Mission Church. But, there are a number of pieces of art of the period (no names are shown for the paintings-if you know the name please send a note) and other things to see. These are shown here...

ConfessionalExpand
Picture taken 1:10pm 31 Aug 2003
Triune GodheadExpand
Picture taken 11:41am 20 Feb 2012
Infant JesusExpand
Picture taken 11:41am 20 Feb 2012
Mary and JesusExpand
Picture taken 11:42am 20 Feb 2012
Mary and JesusExpand
Picture taken 11:42am 20 Feb 2012
St. Francis StatueExpand
Picture taken 11:42am 20 Feb 2012
Mass BookExpand
Picture taken 11:42am 20 Feb 2012
Baptismal FontExpand
Picture taken 11:41am 20 Feb 2012

While you are admiring the artwork on the walls, don't forget to look into niches for this baptimal font.

Looking up shows you the ornate ceiling art and the lights that would have held candles in the mission era.

LightExpand
Picture taken 11:44am 20 Feb 2012

The back of the Church is taken up by the choir loft with its circular staircase and organ as shown here...

Circular StairsExpand
Picture taken 11:42am 20 Feb 2012
Choir LoftExpand
Picture taken 11:44am 20 Feb 2012
OrganExpand
Picture taken 11:44am 20 Feb 2012

Finally, along the side wall is a large false front for the altar. This backing is used during Lent to cover the back of the altar, giving a different backdrop to the Church during Lent. Many churches of the day used such during Lent although most just used a plain cloth drape.

Lent BackgroundExpand
Picture taken 11:43am 20 Feb 2012

Of interest, this Mission chapel, along with "Father Serra's Church" at Mission San Juan Capistrano, is one of only two surviving buildings where Blessed Serra is known to have officiated (although "Dolores" was still under construction at the time of Serra's visit).

Now, move to the museum...Trail

Navigation for Mission San Francisco de Asís:

Mission Home :: History :: Inside Church :: Basilica :: Museum :: Cemetery :: Outside


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Copyright © 2003-2012 Tom Simondi, All Rights Reserved
Pray the rosary for peace!