Saturday, August 13, 2016

AD ORIENTEM WHILE SIMULTANEOUSLY FACING THE CONGREGATION AND THE MOVABLE BAPTISMAL FONT!

This is St. Anne Catholic Church in Richmond Hill, Georgia (not a hill in its topography to be seen or experienced).

The church was consecrated this past February.

I have placed a "symbol" of ad orientem on the altar, the crucifix in a facing the congregation church and altar.

The only two pieces of liturgical furnishings that I have ever thought was helpful for these to be movable are the celebrant's chair and the baptismal font.

The baptismal font is now at the entrance of the nave, symbolic of baptism being the Sacrament of initiation or entrance into the Church. But it is also movable and can be placed toward the front for the Easter Vigil baptisms or baptisms of numerous children or baptisms at Mass.






22 comments:

John Nolan said...

Fr Allan

This is a fine church which might look plain at the moment but is new-built. In a hundred years' time the pious donations and bequests of parishioners will have beautified it out of all recognition. The altar is correctly placed, since it can be easily walked round and Mass can be said in either orientation, which is what GIRM 299 actually means. It would benefit from an antependium in the correct liturgical colour - these items are not prohibitively expensive.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

John when all is said and done, thus far about $12 million has been spent on everything included in this project even the car parks as you in GB call parking lots. Plans and partial acquisition of a future pipe organ have already occurred as well as plans for stain glass. In the future the tabernacle area will be include a nice reredos, with traditional 6 candles. Who knows and God willing and a generous benefactor, maybe an altar railing.

My own personal tastes are for this style of church architecture in its simplicity compared to my previous parishes. It is in the traditional cruciform style and modern Romanesque or Norman as you in GB call it. I think it is a wonderful blen of modern and traditional.

However, I do love all the light that comes in without the stain glass and seeing nature outside.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

This church can seat 1,200!

Anonymous said...

Looks good! But again, it's "stained," not "stain" glass.

TJM said...

Father McDonald what you have done already is a big improvement because it focuses the congregation on the crucified Christ and not you (as wonderful as you are). I like John Nolan's idea for an antependium and yours for reredos. It is a large sanctuary and Church so those couple of items will give the sanctuary a nice, substantial look. Stained glass is beautiful and adds warmth. I have seen it done where the glass border has deep rich colors, and then the central portion of the window depicting a saint has lighter glass to keep the Church from getting too dark. I know you will do the right thing.

Marc said...

I like your church, Father. Not every church needs to be packed with statues and art. Our current parish has little of these things -- the high altar is the focal point. And it's an SSPX church that was dedicated by Abp. Lefebvre himself.

I like the dark wood in your church, especially. Despite being oriented for the Novus Ordo, the church has a timeless quality to it.

rcg said...

I personally like craftsman style archetecture very much. It usually has an Asian influence, but you parish shows an almost German Protestant line to the roof and loft areas. I like it very much. I agree with Marc that not all church style, and this one specifically, accepts a lot of art. Restraint is a viture in many ways. Very nice, Fr Allan (wince).

Flavius Hesychius said...

I am possibly the only person who dislikes all the light. I prefer the heavy, Spanish Romanesque-type walls. Naturally, I prefer the graphic, sombre Spanish artwork.

Anonymous said...

The crucifix adorning the altar can barely be seen in picture #1 taken from, what, 15 feet away.

From farther away - and all in the congregation are much farther away - it cannot be seen at all.

How is this invisible tchotchke going to "focus the congregation on the crucified Christ" and not on Fr. McDonald (as wonderful as he might be...)?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Hello!!!!! The crucifix above the tabernacle is the congregation's point of ad orientem reference! The one on the altar is primarily the priest's ad ORIENTEM point of reference! He cannot see the one behind hin which is almost life size! In all cases we are speaking symbolically of course.

NO D said...

Thank you for sharing this. It seems to be a very fine church for Catholic worship, and almost a blank canvas on which to draw out - as organically as possible - the iconography, meaning, and purpose for that worship; that is, the living faith (aka Sacred Tradition), entering into the Cloud of Witness, and walking the Way of the Cross, daily, at the altar, via meditative pious devotion, and ever following the Pioneer of our Faith. God bless you, Father, and your flock.

One silly question: do the people turn to face east with you (if I understand you correctly) at liturgically specific points, as in in the prayers offered in common at Mass?

I take it for granted that here you do not turn to the altar then turn to face the people at the points that the New Order GIRM still presents .. since you already face both - eastward, as set out already in the Ancient Use (and I doubt anyone would expect you to do a dignified version of The Twist, during a New Order service, in such a lovely God-focused building).

http://www.ccwatershed.org/blog/2014/apr/7/1962-missal-allowed-mass-versus-populum/

Michael said...

If I may, Father, I disagree. I thought the point of the altar crucifix was for the priest AND people to notice it. I guarantee a larger altar crucifix would do more to put peoples' minds on the Passion than would a "background" crucifix that would be easy to just associate with the interior of the church, nothing more.

Anonymous said...

Larger taller crucifix, six candle sticks "on" the altar and remove the Crotons from the altar very distracting.

Anonymous said...

It takes money and time but the church would feel 'warmer" with more statues, communion rail, confessionals, and high altar, but hey this is a good start!! And of course in time the TLM.

George said...


Anonymous @7:19 AM and Michael:

In such a large Church, I would venture to say that those in the back cannot see Fr. McDonald all that well. They can still observe the large Crucifix in back of the altar quite well. It may be that some need to be reminded Who they should focus on, and orient themselves to during the Mass, and that what they are entering into is a re-presentation of Christ's eternal Sacrifice-His Passion and Death on the Cross. Christ is present at every Mass in His Body, Blood,Soul and Divinity. How many there are today who are not present to Him in the way they should be.

Anonymous said...

The sycophantic TJM said, "Father McDonald what you have done already is a big improvement because it focuses the congregation on the crucified Christ and not you (as wonderful as you are)."

NOTE: What you have done . . . focuses the congregation.

Now, unless you are taking credit for the crucifix above the tabernacle, what you have done is, HELLO!, the mostly invisible crucifix on the altar.



TJM said...

Anymous at 12:36

ObamaCare may pay for anger management, try it. You are sad little creature.

Anonymous said...

TJM - Read your own posts is you want anger and sadness.

TJM said...

Anonymous at 10:41, do you ever post anything substantive?

Anonymous said...

Substantive? Yes. But one must have a substantial connection with reality in order to recognize that.

TJM said...

Anonymous at 10:42.

Sure, you are connected to reality, NOT!

Anonymous said...

I am a member of St. Anne parish. A lot of thought and care went into planning and building this church. I am very grateful to have such a beautiful, peaceful, comfortable space to worship. Change can be good, but sometimes needs to happen slowly, to allow people to accept and adapt, and not to indicate that what has previously been is "wrong" or "incorrect".