Wednesday, July 25, 2007
These two photographs are on The New Liturgical Movement.
From an aesthetic point of view the lower picture seems to bring a harmony to the visual confusion of the modern off-set liturgical setting. The first arrangement is bland and neutral, it could be anything, a municipal hall, a gymnasium, Christ is certainly not at its heart, in fact the flowers seem to have the most prominent place, as so often they do in this type of arrangement, whilst the other picture is quite different, here the crucifix dominates.
Pope Benedict spends much of his "Spirit of the Liturgy" talking about the importance of the centrality of the image of Christ crucified, on the altar.
In a way one can say that throughout all his writings Benedict has always stressed the very centrality of Christ. I really do wonder if placing the crucifix (and the tabernacle) in a corner is a sign of the corruption of much of modern theology, a discomfort with a God who becomes flesh and dwells amongst us, and takes away our sin on the Cross.
The first arrangement intends to focus on the priest who moves from chair to ambo to altar, in the traditional arrangement it is the crucifix that is important, even when the priest stands before it, he merely points to Christ. Important as he is, his importance is centred on his function, his service, not his personality.
Posted by Fr Ray Blake