Monday, July 15, 2013

An altar-ation...

Many, both in Rome and Wittenberg, are moving out the free standing altar and restoring the altar to its former position, celebrating the Mass ad orientem instead of versus populum.  I have shown many examples here.  This is the first example I have shown where such an alteration of an altar takes place with the cere cloth still on the altar.  You can watch it all here...

Whatever you think about the debate between facing liturgical east or the people, no one can argue against the end result here.  What was an ordinary, bland, contemporary altar of little architectural consequence, almost invisible against the backdrop of the plain wall, becomes something architecturally significant, the visual focus of the chancel, and something that draws attention even to the larger crucifix above it.  I found the video fascinating as an aesthetic enterprise but I am sure it has had great consequence to the parish and the liturgy celebrated in that space.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

With all the many passings in front of the crucifix, I only caught two people making any sort of reverence to it.

I am all for restoring altars to their proper locations, but I have to hope that the necessary teaching goes along with the physical relocation. It has been so very long for many people, that the understanding of ad orientem is lost on many.

Fr. D+
Anglican Priest