Monday, September 01, 2008

Liturgical Images from Budapest: Ancient Roman Liturgy, Missa Cantata

On the second day of the conference, participants were invited to a splendid parish church which sits on the banks of the Danube river, looking toward the stately palace of Budapest. The parish is that of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the Mass was celebrated by Fr. Ervin Kovács.

As you approached the church itself, one could see architecturally that it was originally a gothic structure which was partially adapted later on in some fashion (whether it was built upon, or merely stylistically altered I know not).

The Mass itself incorporated beautiful chant and polyphony, provided by two children's scholas.

An interesting note about this church was that it had been apparently turned into a mosque at one point in its life, no doubt during the Turkish occupation. Evidence of that is still visible:

Second, the gothic architectural portions of the church provided some interesting details which we have looked at before here on the NLM, namely, the use of colour and decorative patterns and how effectual this is in parish church design.

The gothic ribbing of the Eastern half of the church served to demonstrate this well, but particularly so in combination with a dignified side altar to be found in the church:

I hope these may serve of some inspiration to our church designers and parish priests considering projects to re-enchant their parish churches.

In point of fact, the Oxford Oratorians are presently pursuing a similar course in their lovely church of St. Aloysius in Oxford which I was glad to revisit again recently. Here is their newly re-designed Lady chapel:

Various traditional patterns and monograms are being used in the designs.

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