Wednesday, November 12, 2008

To change is to become perfect

One of the good things about being alive today are all the changes one sees, particularly in the life of the Church. Pope Benedict has signified that good change is often about returning to Tradition. Fr Z has some rather beautiful pictures of the change at the Seton Hall Chapel in the US.
There are one or two other things I would like see but at least the Church is no longer an austere looking court room.
Let us look forward to lots more changes elsewhere.


Physiocrat said...

Generally an improvement. That triangular purple carpet is hideous so that is well got rid of but the front facing altar is still disturbing.

I hope that when we get our reordering the altar will be firmly attached to the reredos so that not even a paper-thin priest could squeeze in behind it and glower at the congregation.

The group of men in white frocks look more than a bit weird too. This performance demonstrates why concelebration is a bad thing. Sorry what I want to see is a priest deacon and sub-deacon facing the same way as everyone else and properly vested, any other priests in cassocks or sitting in the congregation, or celebrating at another time or place.

Anonymous said...

What a small world! I can't believe that I am seeing a chapel from my old neighborhood!! I grew up outside the back gate of Seton Hall University, in the Vailsburg section of Newark, NJ. I attended and graduated from Seton Hall Prep in 1987. I attended classes for two years at the University. I still attend Sunday evening mass at the beautiful chapel, when I miss mass at my church, St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church in Newark. It is right around the block from Seton Hall.

Seton Hall is an integral part of my Catholic upbringing. The chapel was restored to its original beauty, three years ago, in preparation for Seton Hall's 150th anniversary in 2006. It was built by Irishmen, so it is very similar to your church and other Catholic churches found in the English Isles and Ireland. Your church will look as grand when it is restored. It was an expensive project for Seton Hall, but the alumni were generous. I pray for your parishioners' generosity and the completion of St. Mary Magdalen's restoration!

By the way there is a chapel within Seton Hall's Immaculate Conception Chapel, which contains an icon in honor of Orthodoxy Sunday(The day in 787 when, at the Seventh Ecumenical Council, the heresy of iconoclasm was put down.).The icon was donated by Ukrainian alumni in 1987 on the 1200th anniversary of Orthodoxy Sunday. The Seventh Ecumenical Council reinforces the use of beautiful icons and other sacramental art forms in our churches. This is a great concept to remember when you restore your church, that a Council commands it to be the most glorious of undertakings! Peace and Love to all!!!

Anonymous said...

But is it really an improvement? The orientation is still wrong, the new altar appears to be even closer to the nave than the previous one. Now when used the celebrants will turn their backs to the Tabernacle.

To restore an arrangement that was liturgically sound would be one thing but, and I hate to put a damper on enthusiasm, it does seem rather cosmetic.

Anonymous said...

The old arrangement at least reflected one religion, that of 20th century minimalists, the new seems to fall between two stools. It would make sense either to scrap the reredos for a plain wall, or to move the altar back to join the reredos. As it is the architectural expression of two religions is very evident. There are doctoral theses on the re-ordering of churches (one by J. Lines, University of Birmingham) has anyone read them? The simplest idea would be to restore the 1950's arrangement.

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