The Cenacle is a museum that aims to recapture the history of the original Temples in Jerusalem and the Tabernacle, with interactive features in different visitation itineraries, instructed by guides who speak several languages. The museum will show all the stages of the construction of the Temple of Solomon in Sao Paulo, with drawings and models that show from the beginning until its completion, the concern for the environment. An auditorium with capacity for 100 people will host lectures.
In the center, under the great dome, there is a model of the Tabernacle and replicas of artifacts used in it and in the Temples that help visitors feel like they are in biblical times. All around, the 12 columns of the building symbolize the Tribes of Israel, with explanations of how they were instrumental in the formation of God's people.
The golden dome of the Cenacle is not directly related to the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem - dome that sits in the Mosque of Oman - but to the one underneath it. The round ceiling symbolizes the entire Mount Moriah, where Abraham almost sacrificed Isaac and the place in which the original Temple of Solomon and the second Temple were erected.
See a brief description of some of the elements:
The menorah, a big golden lampstand with seven lamps, apart from its usefulness to lighten the environment, symbolizes the presence of God in the place. Moreover, their lamps at the time of the Tabernacle and the Temple in Jerusalem were fueled with pure olive oil of the best quality. The light also symbolized the very Word of God, the true enlightenment for life. The fire was kept continuously lit by the priests.
The Altar of Sacrifice
Soon after entering the outer court of the Temple and then the walls, there was a great altar on which animals offered to God were sacrificed. They represented the sins of the people who offered them. Only animals in perfect conditions could be sacrificed, usually the very best of the herds. Once burned, they produced a smoke that would rise to heaven as "sweet aroma", meaning that the person was accepted before God.
The Rod of Aaron
The rod of Aaron was a staff carved out of almond trees. Aaron, Moses’ brother and high priest of his people, was from the tribe of Levi and used this rod to do miraculous signs before Pharaoh who enslaved the Hebrews. Aaron's rod was placed in the Ark of the Covenant, as a symbol that God chose the Levites to the priesthood and to work in the Tabernacle and Temple, because his rod was the one that flourished among all the rods from 12 Tribes of Israel.
Altar of Incense
At the altar that was at the end of the Holy Place were placed incense whose aromas of spices and other perfumes fill the room, a very strong symbol of the pleas as a "sweet aroma that rises to the heavens" toward God. There the priests addressed their supplications to God and interceded for the people, since they were intermediaries between the people and God.
The Sea of Bronze
Also called "molten sea", it was a large circular water reservoir that stood beside the altar of sacrifice. He stood on 12 oxen carved in bronze and in groups of three; they had their heads turned towards the four cardinal points. In its water the priests would wash off all residues of the sacrificed animals from their hands and feet, as a deep meaning of purification.
The Stone Tablets of the Law
The Lord commanded Moses to climb Mount Sinai and there He gave him two stone tablets with inscriptions of what we know as the Ten Commandments. This is because when the Hebrew people walked through the wilderness towards the Promised Land, they lacked rules for the proper functioning of their society as well as for the worship of God.
The Temple of Solomon won several decorations that were not in the Tabernacle. Among them were two large cherubim made of wood from olive trees, in the form of winged animals, which were placed at the back of the Temple, in the Holy of Holies. The wooden angels were coated with gold, and stood side by side with the head facing the front of the Temple.
The veil separated the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies. It was a large curtain embroidered with two cherubim and the only barrier so that people would not see what only the high priest could see. He entered the room only once a year to talk directly to God. Although the veil was of delicate material, the only things that kept other priest from entering there were the respect and fear of the Lord. However, through the prayers the high priest would say to God, everybody had indirect access to Him.
The Ark of the Covenant
The Ark of the Covenant was a wooden and golden chest that represented God's covenant with the people. After many years dwelling in the Tabernacle, it was placed in the Holy of Holies of the great Temple of Solomon. Since it was a sacred object, it could only be touched by the priests and never by an ordinary person of the people. Inside the Ark were the stone tablets of the Ten Commandments, a pot containing part of the manna and Aaron’s rod. On the Ark was the Mercy Seat with cherubs facing each other, and their wings were outstretched and covered the ark.
Table of breads
À direita de quem entrava no Lugar Santo ficava a mesa com 12 pães empilhados em duas colunas de seis, também chamada de mesa da proposição ou pães da presença.
Tour of the Cenacle
For more details about each of these and other elements, starting from August, schedule of the tour of the Cenacle will be available on this website or in the local box office.