Why is it that the word renovation has come to strike architectural fear in the hearts of many Catholics? Now I have mentioned my own parish before where the church which was already beautiful was made even more beautiful when it was truly renovated. Of course another loaded term has come to be "worship space" when you see a "church" referred to in this manner it is almost a guarantee of what those in charge of the renovation will do. For example The Church of the Resurrection has this "OUR NEW WORSHIP SPACE" Virtual Tour.
Now if someone unfamiliar with the sacraments compared the baptismal font and the Tabernacle, which do you think they would believe to have the pride of place and the higher importance?
Where one is prominently displayed as you enter the church and the other is off to the side in a reservation chapel. I guess they had reservations that this is truly the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ and that the Eucharist should be treated as such. If the second coming were to occur now would we politely ask Jesus to go stand in a side room?
They also probably were not concerned that what they have done also violates canon law. "The tabernacle in which the Most Holy Eucharist is reserved habitually is to be immovable,…" I don’t know about you, but my definition of mobile does not include the ability for the Tabernacle to be easily carried off by even an octogenarian. Now I don’t have a problem with large baptismal fonts. What goes on spiritual in baptism is an awesome thing to reflect upon and the design and beauty of the physical font used can help us to reflect on this. But the Eucharist as mystery is even more awesome and it is sad that in so many churches that the Sacrament of Baptism seems to have a higher emphasis than the sublime mystery of the Eucharist.
As you move toward the Altar you become aware that it occupies the place of greatest prominence in the room. The altar has been handcrafted by Martin Ratermann of solid black walnut. Although stone is a common material from which altars are constructed, our art and furnishings committee purposely chose wood so that our altar would more readily be associated with the Emmaus table of Luke’s Gospel, at which the two disciples recognized the risen Christ in the breaking of the bread.
Art and furnishing committee? I guess if you really want to screw something up appoint a committee. You know solid black walnut in an octagonal shape really reminds me of the table used at Emmaus. There are just so many reference to black walnut trees in the Bible that I have lost count.
Again it looks like canon law was not part of any consideration.
Can. 1236 §1. According to the traditional practice of the Church, the table of a fixed altar is to be of stone, and indeed of a single natural stone. Nevertheless, another worthy and solid material can also be used in the judgment of the conference of bishops. The supports or base, however, can be made of any material.
The US the Bishops conference says that the altar can be made of other materials with permission of the local ordinary. Of course the funny thing is that the document that allows this permission is called Built of Living Stones: Art, Architecture, and Worship.
"The octagon was a symbol used in the early Church for the Resurrection. Its eight sides symbolize the first seven days of the creation of the world as recorded in the Book of Genesis plus the first day of the New Creation, which is Easter."
I hadn’t heard that before, but that does seem to be a fitting symbol.
Now with all of these modification you just know that there is no way in the world that there will be a crucifix within the sanctuary and you wouldn’t be wrong.
|When you stand in front of the altar platform you are standing in the center of the room. Facing the altar from this point, turn clockwise until you are facing the first grand window with its accompanying oculus window above. Here you find the bronze sculpture entitled “Christ Rising” by Fredrick Hart. It is not apparent whether the figure of Christ in this sculpture is being raised from the cross or if he is rising from the grave. In this work we simultaneously experience the anguish of Christ’s sacrifice and the power of his resurrection.|
So I guess you don’t know if Christ is coming or going much like most modern theology. I am more inclined to title this statue "Diving board Jesus."
What is it with the modern aversion to the cross? All of this "We are an Easter People" as if we got a Monopoly card that said "Go strait to Easter do not pass the Crucifixion." We all have an aversion to the cross and usually increase them by ignoring our crosses. Deemphasizing Jesus’ death on the cross will also likely increase not decrease on own crosses. It is much harder for us to say "why me?" when we look up at our Lord on the crucifix.
Now I don’t really know what to make of this final picture.
Other than that I suspect one of the parishioners objected to all of these modifications and was placed in carbonite like Hans Solo.