Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Church of St. Mary, Mother of God

This is a replica of the front of my architectural-jewel-of-a-church, St. Mary, Mother of God, executed in sugarpaste. It was the prime feature of the back of the RCIA cake. The original church has beautiful dormer windows on either side. It was built in 1900 and boasts magnificent Tiffany stained glass windows. Much to Antonia's delight, the main window is a representation of St. Cecilia. Perhaps when time allows, I will complete the back of the church and paint in the windows on my sugar replica.


Sweet and Blessed Inspiration

I have reshot the sugar decorations from the RCIA cake for better viewing.

As I mentioned in the previous post, the cake, for which I created these sugar decorations, was made for the RCIA at the Easter Vigil in my church. RCIA stands for Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. It includes adult converts to the Catholic faith as well as those who have not completed the sacraments of Holy Communion and Confirmation. My niece, Antonia, was to receive her Confirmation as part of the Rite and I was her sponsor. Her chosen Confirmation name is Cecilia, the patron Saint of Music. We have spent a good part of the past year in Sunday morning classes and have participated in numerous special Masses and events. This has been a very important time for both Antonia and myself in our spiritual growth. And it has been my great honor to be able to contribute my talents to celebrate this momentous event. And we are both deeply grateful to those members of our parish who made it all possible, especially our pastor, Msgr. Walsh, our director, Sister Gloria, our wonderful hospitality team, especially Carol and Karin, and our prayer partners.

The culmination of the RCIA initiation was the absolutely gorgeous and moving Easter Vigil Mass. From the lighting of the bonfire, to the sea of lit candles in a chasm of darkness, to the extended readings from Genesis and Exodus, to the first ringing of bells since Ash Wednesday while the lights slowly began to illuminate the hall, to the baptism of our elect, the spiritual rituals of Our Church moved me deeply.

And I felt truly inspired and blessed in my sugar work. The Sacraments of Holy Communion, Confirmation and Baptism are represented, respectively, by a 24K gilded chalice complete with a representation of the Host with rays of light, Communion Wine, and a Cross, a dove representing the Holy Spirit with seven flames representing the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, and stylized flowing water with gilded fish. The gumpaste flowers are Madonna Lilies (Lilium candidum) and Lilies of the Valley (Convallaria majalis) with leaves, thirty of each. I chose these flowers because they represent Mary, the patroness of our parish church as well my own patron Saint. Although they look very much like Easter Lilies (Lilium longiflorum) they are not quite the same. For one, the trumpets are much shorter. At the back of the cake is a representation of our church and will be discussed in the next post. And I almost forgot the sheath of wheat next to the chalice.

As for the cakes, there were four different kinds: The largest of the cakes was a 16 in. Diva Cake (see the Sweet Harvest, Nov. 2006, post for a detailed description). A 12 in. Meyer Lemon Vodka Cake with Meyer Lemon filling and Meyer Lemon buttercream came next. The next tier was a 6 in., fondant covered styrofoam dummy used only to lend design integrity to the tiered cake. The top cake was the 8 in. Southern Delight cake consisting of a Hummingbird Cake with fresh bananas, fresh pineapple, pecans and a touch of cinnamon with a filling of rum soaked Bananas Foster and Praline and a brown sugar buttercream. There was also a 12 in. cake, not part of the the tiered cake, made of dense almond cake, filled with kumquat conserve, and layered with a yolk buttercream. All cakes were coved in a lemon flavored rolled fondant except the almond cake which was covered in marzipan.

Finally, I wish to dedicate my sugar work to my niece and Diva Delights partner, Antonia Maria Cecilia Rosenberger with all my love, best wishes and congratulations on her full entrance into Our Community of Faith. And I wish to thank our friends Terry and John for their constant moral and spiritual support.


Monday, April 09, 2007

HE IS RISEN! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

A Blessed and Happy Easter to all my friends and bloggers! I am posting a sampling of the pictures of the cake made in honor of the RCIA at my parish church of St. Mary and served at the post Easter Vigil buffet. Tomorrow there will be additional pictures with commentary.