Wednesday, February 04, 2009

What is wrong with this picture?



"Incongruity" makes something funny. These two images are hilarious because they are incongruous. The inconsistency makes one laugh as God has been replaced with man. Show this one to your kids, too. And not only was the holy tabernacle dethroned, but also the consecrated and permanent altar itself.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Of course this is exactly what they did in St. Peter's at the Altar of the Chair.

Anonymous said...

JP can you recomend any impressive churches near lake maggiore , my sister is getting married there and is desperate to find a beautiful church , our parish church has been closed and the neighbouring churches are under the control of the one priest who was happy to see the church close

JPSonnen said...

The Church of Sts. Peter and Paul in Ascona on Lago Maggiore (the Swiss side) is a lovely church (and it's heated!)...

Anonymous said...

"Of course this is exactly what they did in St. Peter's at the Altar of the Chair."

Not at every liturgy though and when it was done, it was temporary and the original altar was at least veiled with the altar of the chair replaced by the chair of Peter.

There was at least something that made sense in all of that. It also wasn't the main altar at very least and the tabernacle was never there.

John has a good point. What we see in these other situations is rather problematic and people from various liturgical perspectives can agree on that. Why must we defend what clearly is a problem?

The only thing one can be thankful for is that, at least in these cases, they didn't destroy the original altars, thereby making them more easily restoreable.

Anonymous said...

That chair almost looks like a toilet.

Anonymous said...

thank you , i think its Italy rather than Switzerland that she is making the arrangements , and by the way she had stopped going to Mass when she was at university but the first time i prayed to Fulton Sheen she decided she wanted to embrace the faith and started going again

EPGoto said...

Not to defend these images... but originally (before the Tridentine style mass) the chair of the presiding priest (a bishop with the full Priesthood or parish priest with his delegated powers) sat on a chair such as that at the apse or east end of the church behind the altar... (do remember that churches 'descend' from the basilicas or law courts of the Roman Empire, where the secular magistrate presided in like fashion) So because of this fact the celebration of the mass versus populo also since the priest/CELEBRANT CELEBRATED the mass looking towards the people...this is/was the essence of a public mass: a high mass (prior to the Tridentine tradition). Now, for low mass (aka PRIVATE mass) priests may well have used an altar facing the wall... no seat would be required since for such simplified masses the ceremony was/is usually without attendanding deacons or a nave full of faithfull (though there can be altar servers and faithfull present...as we normally see in such situations...) As for the lectern in front of the chair of the presiding priest, I recently found evidence in the Codex Vigilanus and Emilianense of Spain, which show the proceedings of the 7c. Councils of Toledo etc...
Anyhow - my wish is not to be confrontational on the matter - but shedding a light on a past further back than common memory affords.
While some priests may be changing their altar configurations without a clue why (which is not often the case...priests did took theology classes and history lessons etc. in seminary which account for things the rest of us sometimes miss as to why they're doing what they do...) maybe they aren't replacing God for man... but instead returning to a forgotten praxis... NOW: I do agree that the wooden chairs are not the most pleasing of designs and do clash with the surrounding architecture... and the white chair (or cathedra - is it in stone? is this an episcopal see?) does look a bit like a toilet-bowl BUT at least its harmonious in color and even shape -if not design- with the surrounding architecture.
So I have spoken. God Bless.