Sunday, October 25, 2009

Our New Sanctuary

Whilst I was away in Italy Peter and Radic refloored the sanctuary and side chapels, it was only on Saturday morning that we managed to heave the mensa of the altar in place.

Our intention is to restore the appearance of the Church to what its Victorian architect Gilbert Blount intended, yet still have an altar seperated from the wall, as the Roman Missal says we should.

The main body of the altar platform is place, the steps are yet to be installed.

Mass this morning was the first time in forty years, people could see what was happening at the altar, well behind the candlesticks and smoke.

The space for the chair needs to be looked at, and it feels decidedly cramped on the level of the plano, still the whole gives an impression of space, though in practice every thing is about moving things a few centimeters here and there.


roydosan said...

Fr, could you not just put the chair on the rightside of the altar sideways on? That would be a more traditional arrangement.

shadowlands said...

Looking good so far!

Elizabeth said...

Wow, it is really looking beautiful, will certainly come to Mass here on our next visit to Brighton.
I was told when my imagination runs away with itself to concentrate on all the tabernacles (one by one) I have seen in my life and am able to remember (like the one in the Church that I was married, where I attend daily Mass/Sunday Mass etc) and to make a spiritual communion.

So I look forward to spending time in front of the Tabernacle at Saint Mary Magdalen and sealing that in my mind.

gemoftheocean said...

Agree with sideways. It was that way in our churches here in the 50s and early 60s.

It's looking really good. well done.

Sadie Vacantist said...

The chair makes no sense - why the 45 degree angle?

The modern liturgy of the word is simply ridiculous in the modern Mass and I think you should use a radio mic and celebrate it ad orientem.

Ask Bishop "Kieran" or Bishop "Chris" or the Right Reverend John W Hind BA or whoever is the ordinary in that part of the World for advice.

Crux Fidelis said...

How did your trip to Italy go?

Gan Ainm said...

What do you mean when you write: "Mass this morning was the first time in forty years, people could see what was happening at the altar, well behind the candlesticks and smoke."

What caused them to be unable to see before?

Aren't those candles obscuring things now?

Michael said...

I would prefer that the original high Altar was restored and it was the norm for the priest to face the liturgical east from the preface to the end of the communion but I can appreciate that it would difficult to do this just now.

The new arrangement, however, is a great improvement , especially with the altar frontal, I do wish these were more common. They would do much to improve some of the ugly butcher's blocks that you see in many sanctuaries.

One thought occurs, though, with the priest behind an altar and a row of tall candlesticks, the actions of the mass are even less visible than in they were in the "traditional" arrangement.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Michael, The sacristans intention with the candlesticks and candles was to emphasise the "upward" sense (and theology) of the Mass.

Sci-Fi-Si said...

Is that Joe in the picture? Jerry at the back? and who's the new wee lad?

Looks as though Joe has got my thurifer job - good for him.

Hope all is well at St. MM's. Hope to be down soon Father Ray.


Sci-Fi-Si said...


We still need our Altar 'health-n-safety' Rails back tho'