What if, when St. Joseph Church in Macon, Georgia underwent its renovation/restoration, that the celebration of the Liturgy of the Eucharist even in the Ordinary Form, was encouraged to be ad orientem and no free standing altar need be placed in front of a fixed ad orientem only altar/reredos?
It would have led to a cheaper renovation and I think a more handsome renovation although what was accomplished is a marvelous compromise given the obsession with so many that the Mass be celebrated westward even for the Liturgy of the Eucharist.
Just look at the work in progress image of St. Joseph. If we were allowed not to have a freestanding altar, all that needed to be done was to get rid of the horrible, rinky-dink post-Vatican II freestanding altar which would return the focus to the original altar with its three steps up from the foot of the altar.
What I do not have a picture of is the fact that the celebrant’s chair in the pre-renovation photo along with the two servers’ chairs on ether side of it, was placed at the top of the third step hiding the mensa of the old altar and making the priest’s and altar server chairs the highest point in the sanctuary.
I would have then not elevated the rest of the floor for the new altar. I would have simply moved the altar railing to the renovated position which would have made the sanctuary look extremely spacious compared to the original placement of the altar railing. The new position of the altar railing is certainly safer to use for the laity companies to having the laity, to include older ones, walk two steps up to it. I can only image how many people tripped down those two steps returning to their pews.
As I mentioned in the previous post, everything remains as it was under the 2000 renovation: