Tuesday, November 08, 2005

A model parish arrangement for beginning to reform the reform?

Recently, one of the priests from this parish (www.stmarysgvl.org) emailed me. I was incredibly happy to see pictures of their church and liturgies which seem to be a great example of the effects that could be had from implementing the 3-step proposal I presented here for parish priests to begin reforming the reform in their parish churches. While not all parishes may have the beautiful traditional architecture that surrounds this one, its sanctuary arrangement and appointments (the style of vestments, etc.) can, I think, serve as a model for how to re-order a parish sanctuary in accordance with the reform the reform. One can see how it re-orients the entire sense and direction of the liturgy.

Allow me to highlight this by way of their own pictures first off.

Note how the priest is situated in relationship to the altar. Note as well the altar candles, the location of the tabernacle (not a part of my 3 first steps, but a very good one to shoot for). I must say I love their choice of vestments and the traditional cassock and surplice for the altar servers.

The only thing not included in this parish as regards my own recommendations (which was taken from Ratzinger's recommendation at the Fontgambault Conference) is the presence of a substantial altar cross on the altar to further emphasize Mass is said "toward the Lord" (and which, hopefully, can eventually lead back to common direction). If the parish priests of this parish are reading this, I hope you may consider that one addition to your excellent sanctuary arrangement.

Finally, a beautiful shot of the sanctuary in general:

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