Sunday, June 2, 2013
SPECTACULAR PHOTOS OF THE SOLEMN SUNG EXTRAORDINARY FORM MASS AT NOTRE DAME, PARIS AND AT THEIR OLD HIGH ALTAR
You can view wonderful photo display of the Solemn Sung High Mass at Notre Dame, Paris by clicking HERE. If you click the image you will get a roll of photos one after the other.
YOU CAN VIEW ALL THE PHOTOS AT ONE TIME HERE!
This is the new altar that was placed much closer to the nave so that the people could feel the closeness of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. What do you think of this altar, compared to the one that is about 20 yards behind it pictured above and in the photo roll I link?
A closer look?
And the older altar 20 yard behind the new one?
Pope Benedict celebrating Solemn Sung Vespers at Notre Dame and its new altar:
This photo give you a bit of the sense of the distance between the new altar and the older one behind it:
DOES THE NEW ALTAR IN ANY WAY COMPARE WITH THE OLD, I ASK, YOU ANSWER!
MY COMMENTS: The power of liturgical theologians is present in these pictures of the new and old altars. There is nothing in Vatican II Documents on the liturgy that says old altars must be discarded, especially old altars in ancient cathedrals, in order to have Mass facing the people. There is nothing said of that. And there is absolutely nothing said about the altar being brought a few feet closer to the congregation in order for them to feel a part of things. In fact doing so hides the altar in most churches when the church is full of people.
The only thing the General Instruction of the Roman Missal says is that new altar should be free standing so that the priest can easily walk around it and that Mass could be celebrated facing the congregation. This becomes an option in the post-Vatican II era, but this is not what Vatican II taught, but rather, theologians taught it after Vatican II saying it was implied in the documents or is a part of the "spirit" of Vatican II.
My sense about this deconstruction of our altars and making them closer to the people and smaller in size is that it diminishes the symbolism of the importance the Church once placed on altars with the traditional six-candle set-up with the crucifix in the center.
To my child's eye and even as a teenager, when I viewed this sort of thing in my parish and other parishes, it looked like the divine was being demoted and the Lord and His Sacrifice were being made ordinary, not extraordinary. It was clearly a dumbing-down of things in the Church liturgically and otherwise.
I think it is this sort of thing that wrecked havoc in the Church beginning in the late 1960's and we have yet to recover and unfortunately there are those my age and older who are very nostalgic for the 1960's. We can never and should never recapture our corrupted youth!