Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Springfield Cathedral Update: Historic Reredos Safe, for the Moment

We've had a long, strange last couple of days on the New Liturgical Movement with regards to the upcoming renovation of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield, Illinois, particularly regarding the fate of the old high altar. Various sources, some quite trustworthy, others more nebulous, indicated that the reredos with its splendid mosaic of the Blessed Virgin was slated for removal, while other voices suggested that the reredos was to remain but the altar would be modified or removed, and still others said they had been told the old altar would remain untouched.

The most recent credible current information indicates that the tabernacle and reredos are going to stay untouched, though I do not know whether or not the old altar (i.e., the mensa and stipites) itself will be modified. I hope to post more about this subject when I have more certain details.

It is possible there may have been plans initially to remove the whole reredos outright, and were subsequently altered. In any case, I would strongly encourage our readers to politely and concisely express their support for the plan to retain the reredos, as well as encouraging them to preserve the altar itself untouched. I believe it would be very easy for it to used as an altar of repose without any alteration to its historic fabric, which seems to be the very latest plan as of writing. In any case, no interior perspectives or elevations have been released yet. I would appreciate if anyone with more solid information--not rumors--contacted me at malderman83(at)gmail(dot)com.

You can write to the diocese to express your support for the integrity of the historic high altar via:

Catholic Pastoral Center
1615 West Washington St.
P.O. Box 3187
Springfield, Illinois 62708-3187
Phone: 217-698-8500
Fax: 217-698-0802

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