Tuesday, December 11, 2012


It appears that parishes, monasteries, religious houses and chapels which were renovated to accommodate the Vatican II Mass or at least add a table or another altar in front of a perfectly good altar was all unnecessary. What a waste of time, faith, energy and money! The reform of the reform within continuity continues to gain momentum and you never know where it will strike next!

A Chapel in Poland:

The unnecessary new altar that was placed in front of the perfectly good old altar
The old altar restored to new and the new altar, deposed
The new Mass on the same old altar, the way it should have been all along!

I wonder how this altar railing would look in Saint Joseph Church, Macon?


ytc said...

The railing would be simply magnificent.

Henry Edwards said...

It can be argued that the second altar in that second picture (as well as the one at St. Joseph's, Macon) are improper, according to an editorial published in the 1993 Notitiae, the official publication of the Congregation for Divine Worship. As Father Z wrote recently:

"I call to mind an essay in Notitiae which established that the principle of the unicity of the altar in the sanctuary was so important that where there was a fine main altar, nothing should be set up in front of it and that a desire for versus populum should be sacrificed."

He discusses this essay in some detail in

Fr. Z says the bottom line is this:

"The principle if the unicity of the altar is strong enough that if there is a serious altar of artistic or architectural merit, and it is ad orientem, you should not put another altar in front of it. That was in Notitiae."

So, Fr. McDonald, it seems to me--from my comfortable distance--that that table altar of yours has got to go (presuming your obedience to Rome).

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Henry, the living donor of the altar would be a livid donor if I removed it. I think it cost in 2006 almost $50,000 and is white Carrara marble to match the existing marble and a red marble from Poland. I'm not sure the donor would want it in his home for a private chapel or dining room table. I suspect we could recycle it with King Richard's out of Atlanta though.

Templar said...

That railing would spectacular in St Joseph ;)

Unknown said...

Fr. McDonald,

I am sure there is a needy church in Africa which could use the freestanding altar. It would be a great work of Christian charity and a great honor on behalf of the donor, if you would ship it out.

Just sayin'...there's always an answer.

ytc said...

Fr., shove it against the high altar, then deck the width with various statues and candles and stuff. There you go.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

What a miracle of God to have donors who would step up and fund it! In fact, Oh, what fun it would be riding in one church altar railing.

Unknown said...


That makes for an unruly mess. Believe me when I tell you that. The High Altar already has as mensa. There is no need to shove anything.

Father could use the freestander (or Cranmer table, as I put it) in a daily Mass chapel, in the Sacristy (if there is room) or in the rectory, as a chapel...that way the altar would be repurposed in a liturgical setting. Or he could send it to Africa.

Carol H. said...

I am very much looking forward to the altar rails and gates- they're beautiful!

ytc said...

Shoving it against the high altar is a better idea than using it as an ironing board table altar. Fr. has made it clear, I think, that he will not get rid of it.

Templar said...

I don't think it's a miracle Father. I think the donators are just grateful for an island of Orthodoxy in an ocean of Heterodoxy.

Henry Edwards said...

Charity has its limits. If you SELL your superfluous free-standing altar, you'll surely get enough to more than cover the cost of a fine altar rail and gates. What better cause to exchange the original donor's gift for an even more worthy tribute to his generosity, one that simultaneously enhances both beauty and reverence in your historic church?

Joseph Johnson said...

For that matter, I am sure there are churches right here in our Diocese of Savannah that would love to make a home for that marble altar (although I would prefer to see it installed for ad orientem celebration). In my home parish, for instance, we still have our early 1980's era fake wood grain altar with what I call "cooling fins" (vertical wood pieces that protrude with the narrow ends attached to the altar, presumably as a "decoration,"
of sorts). The only redeeming aspects of this altar are that it is not a cube (it is rectangular and big enough for EF Mass cards) and that it has our historic altar stone with relic (dating back to our pre-conciliar wood high altar in the old late-nineteenth century church).

I'm sure our pastor would gratefully accept such a beautiful stone altar!

Carol H. said...

I think that if the altar were to be moved, the best place for it would be to the adoration chapel (although I have no idea how we would ever get it in there). It would be infinately better than the wood thingy that is in there now.

Marko Ivančičević said...

This is not OF. This is EF celebrated by a priest of IBP.