Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Saturday, April 26, 2008
The key thing to note is the two separate pulpits from which the Epistle and the Gospel are sung. This is a common feature of Spanish churches from the Middle Ages and the practice of proclaiming the readings from the pulpits extended well into the post-Tridentine period. I noted on my travels that the Basilica de San Lorenzo del Escorial, whihc Phillip II built as a showpiece of Tridentine reform, also has this arrangement.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
A quick history of the church. The church that you see was built by Pope Leo II (681-83) who built it on the foundations of an earlier church. It was restored by Pope Gregory IV (827-44), but was subsequently damaged by heavy flooding in the area. (It is interesting how many churches suffered greatly from climate change in this time). Originally it was dedicated to both St George and St Sebastian, but in time the devotion to St Sebastian died out. The relic of St George was given to the church by Pope Zachary (741-52), who like St George was a native of Cappodocia. Presumably the relic was imported from his home town.
In the apse you can see St George, on a white horse to the right of Christ. This is the way that the Greek Church still depicts him. The suburb by the way was the centre of the Greek community as many refugees escaping iconoclast persecution in the eighth and ninth centuries settled in this neighbourhood. There is no reference to the dragon as this only turned up about 500 years after the church was built!
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
I know this will generate some comment. Frankly Ilike either whihc betrays my sympathies to both forms of the Roman Rite.
Monday, April 07, 2008
I was going to do a blog on this matter until I came upon an excellent blog by Michael Sternbeck (as many of you know the vestment maker) titled Lord, to whom shall we turn?. This highlights the extent to which the "Introductory Prayers" and where they are supposed to be recited are a distinct break with tradition, particularly when it is a priest and not a bishop celebrating.
The earliest that I have seen "president" used is in the account of St Justin Martyr in his account of the Eucharist. He uses the term praestes meaning a president or guardian. However, I have seen similar words used which mean chief or ruler. However after that it seems to disappear, until the 1969 GIRM. Presumably, the 1960s reformers were trying to emulate the early liturgy. Since then, the term has gone out of control; particularly from those who do not want a priesthood.
Of course many churches are laid out to emphasise the priest (oops presider) as the talk show host. See below.
Sunday, April 06, 2008
To date me experience has brought me to the opinion that the Reform-of-the-reform is a dead issue, now that the Extraordinary Form has been liberated from any restriction. Much of the R-ot-R is trying to put a "Tridentine" face upon what was a new form of the rite, when the intention of the post Vatican II Consilium was actually to go in a different direction with regard to the sacred Liturgy. Plastering over the tridentine form onto a modern liturgy constructed to modern sentiments therefore tends to be incongruous.
In my opinion, the two forms are this:
- the worship of the Temple of Jerusalem whihc strongly links to the The Classical liturgy as found in the Missal of 1962
- the concept of the "upper room" which seems to be a lot of the philosophy of the modern liturgy (Mass versus populum, more on the sacred meal aspect, vernacular etc)
Different people would feel differing levels of comfort with the two concepts. As for me I am most comfortable with the former rather than the latter. However, that is not to say that I am wedded to the former exclusively, and I assist in the latter most frequently.
As you can see from the photos of the First Friday Mass the characteristics of the R-ot-R Liturgy are:
- more candles on the Altar
- the central cross on the Altar
- the incensation at the consecration with bells
- Communion on the tongue
- exclusively male Altar servers
Now these are in no way a departure from the GIRM but simply subtle changes in style. But look at the results!!! Close to a perfect modern Roman Rite liturgy!
So the R-ot-R Liturgy os not going back and saying "what did the Council fathers really want?", it is actually "what do the liturgical books really say?"
In terms of the "Benedictine Altar arrangement", the additional candles do make the liturgy and enhance the Altar's significance, When going back to my own parish and seeing the three stubby candles at one end of the Altar, I though it looks OK but just doesnt have that level of gravitas. Although I am of an open mind as to whether the "ad orientem" position really works with the OF, soem simple arrangments of candles and the Altar cross, as well as the presence of the thurifer and torchbearers during the Canon, sufficiently re-orient the liturgy for me.