This altar arrangement looks sacred! How about the others below?
Very traditional and inspiring!
This was the altar for an outdoor Mass in Sicily this past week with Pope Benedict. This altar is very much in continuity with what you see above as the way altars looked prior to the some of the more dreadful reforms of the Mass and altars after Vatican II. These dreadful reforms were not needed and have done more to hurt the faith of Catholics than most anything else that has happened in the Catholic Church these past 40 years. If the altar doesn't inspire faith, if poor celebrations of Mass on these dumbed down altars occur every Sunday, is it any wonder we're down to about 28% of Catholics attending Mass on Sunday today compared to almost 90% in the time immediately prior to the Second Vatican Council? Is it any wonder that a very high number of Catholics today do not believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Most Holy Eucharist compared to Catholics immediately prior to the Second Vatican Council where the majority of Catholics did? We need Pope Benedict's hermeneutic of reform within continuity to reverse the damage we brought upon ourselves immediately following Vatican II and some of the silly dumbing down of our altars, ritual and piety.
I'm not opposed to modern architecture for Churches and the new Los Angeles Cathedral intrigues me on many levels. However, can you pick out the altar from this vantage point? It is as though it's not even there. It's fine for those who are near it, but from any distance it is swallowed up by the massive space and invisible. If it were three steps higher, more rectangular than square, with a modern reredos behind it and Pope Benedict's revival of the traditional look of the altar with six candlesticks and crucifix, then I would stand up and applaud. But right now I say, it missed the mark!
Look at the horrible "ironing board" thing they placed in front of a magnificent Extraordinary Form altar. What are we thinking when we do this sort of trash and what does it convey to the congregation about the differences in the EF Mass altar and the OF Mass altar? Which Mass and what altar has more dignity? Why did we shoot ourselves in the foot over this kind of supposed "sacred sign?" These sorts of things have done more to diminish the Catholic faith and our understanding of reverence, piety and respect for the sacred.
This one misses the mark too!
Does this altar give you the warm fuzzies of the hermeneutic of reform within continuity? Blah!
This one really misses the mark of reform within continuity, there is a rupture, but certainly there is continuity with a Masonic hall! How do you like the altar?