Monday, September 25, 2006

Cardinal Seán O'Malley at the Chiesa Nuova Church

A couple of individuals have sent me links to fairly new Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley's blogging of his Fall trip to Rome wherein the Cardinal celebrates Mass at the Oratorian Chiesa Nuova Church, ad orientem.

Now indeed, the chapel he celebrated Mass in has no free-standing altar, which would of course pretty well ensure this much. Nonetheless, while I do not know the Cardinal's views on such liturgical matters, at very least a positive can be that having such opportunities to celebrate Mass ad orientem can bring about an epiphany of sorts to its manifest strengths and ability for the priest to focus upon the sacrificial and priestly act upon the altar, and the faithful to join with that act in rendering due worship to God.

These can be seeds. (I realize the rubrical question of the vesture of the attendant priest is likely to come up, but I'm choosing to focus in on the issue of the orientation of the priest at the altar.)

Here is also a shot of the main high altar of the Church:

Another shot will show that there is another free-standing altar which has taken the place of the high altar, though perhaps someone can comment whether this is permanent or if it is a removable altar used for certain masses only, while the original high altar is used for others?

One thing that impressed me about the Brompton Oratory in London is that all of its Masses are said ad orientem and that the original high altar is the only altar in the sanctuary. This is a refreshing sight.

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