Garden Grove

Iconic Hazel Wright Organ Returns to Christ Cathedral in Garden Grove

The music has soothed souls and has drawn the faithful to worship for decades.

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The world's fifth-largest pipe organ has been returned to Christ Cathedral in Garden Grove.

The Diocese of Orange spent $3 million renovating the Hazel Wright organ, named after the woman who made the initial donation to purchase it.

The organ was made famous on the "Hour of Power" television program, hosted at Crystal Cathedral. When the church went bankrupt, the diocese bought the building and organ.

A decade ago, the instrument was disassembled and shipped to Italy for repair. Now, the organ has all 17,000 pipes tuned and in place.

Blowers in the basement of Christ Cathedral produce air pressure that gets pushed up into the bellows until released, creating the heart-pumping sound.

David Bell, the cathedral organist, said the organ leaves an impact on parishioners.

"I let it rip into a hymn. They look around," Bell said. "They're in awe and inspired by the architecture."

The church has added quatrefoils to keep the temperature stable inside since cold and hot air affect the pipes' pitch.

The organ tuner expects to spend 30 hours a month tuning the instrument.

The remodeled organ now uses a computer and fiber optics, which connect the pipes around the church.

The Hazel Wright organ will be the centerpiece of a Catholic blessing and will be played by the Papal organist on Friday.

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