Oklahoma City University News
OCU to Dedicate New Cross and Mace
OKLAHOMA CITY — The Bishop W. Angie Smith Chapel at Oklahoma City University will host a dedication ceremony at 1 p.m. Oct. 15 for its new altar cross and mace.
The new cross and mace are custom designed and hand carved for the university. Rodney Newman, campus chaplain, said the two pieces are beautiful artistic expressions of OCU’s ideals. The cross will be a focal point for the chapel’s services.
“We wanted something that people would notice as soon as they walk into the sanctuary, something that draws their attention,” Newman said, describing the wooden cross.
Local woodcarver Haven Mankin finished the mace and is now working on the cross. Mankin has done work for several churches and was featured in the Oklahoma Heritage Association magazine in April.
The cross will be of Celtic design featuring intricate knots and a “triquetra,” three interlocking ovals representing the Holy Trinity. Mankin is using four types of wood including olivewood imported from Bethlehem, Israel. It will stand nearly three feet tall.
He is also making matching candle holders that will be placed next to the cross.
He said he was sensitive to the design of the original mace when designing the new mace.
“An important symbol of the Office of the President of Oklahoma City University, the new mace reuses two important elements from the original which brings continuity into this important symbol and speaks to the longevity of OCU as an institution,” he said. “Addressing purity, no stains or paints were used—only the natural colors of beautiful hardwoods show through a simple clear wax finish.”
Mankin said he chose to use olivewood in both pieces because the “Biblical wood comes from trees that bear fruit, as the university bears fruit in education.”
Bishop Robert Hayes Jr. of the United Methodist Church Oklahoma Conference will give a sermon with the theme of joining faith and learning.