Speaking of liturgical life in the Philippines, Fr. Tim Finigan of The Hermeneutic of Continuity, who recently discovered the blogs of several Philippine bishops, now points us to an entry in the blog of Bishop Leonardo Medroso of Tagbilaran, Tidbits. Bishop Medroso has this to say on the unfortunate "renovations" which have taken place in so many Catholic churches all over the world since the 1960s:
If man already lives an "engraced" existence naturally, and the sacramental union with Christ is ontologically superfluous, a mere symbol of entrance into a "faith community," then the altar rail (iconostasis, the rood screen) that separates the natural world of the faithful and the supernatural world of the Divine mysteries must go. As Christ is already present in the community, the sacramental presence of Our Lord in the tabernacle is now superfluous and can therefore be removed from the sanctuary precinct. With the traditional concept of the Mystical Body obscured, the images of saints and holy mysteries, a tradition going back to the catacombs, are removed in favor of a single figure of the "Risen Lord".
And on a different note, Fr. Ray Blake of Saint Mary Magdalen has a nice entry on the patronal feast of the Italian city of Viterbo, where they build an enormous illumined structure, the macchina, for carrying their Patron Saint, St. Rosa, in procession. Here is a video of this year's macchina:
Pictures of other years are at Fr. Blake's.