Sunday, November 30, 2008

Pope Celebrates Mass in the Roman Basilica of St. Lawrence on the Occasion of the 1750th Anniversary of the Martyrdom of St. Lawrence [UPDATED]

Pope Benedict XVI celebrated Mass today at the Roman basilica of Saint Lawrence Outside the Walls on the occasion of the 1750th anniversary of the martyrdom of Saint Lawrence.

It is always both gratifying and interesting to watch papal masses from these ancient Roman basilicas.

First a few images of the Basilica itself from our own Fra Lawrence Lew:

(The Cloister)

(Beneath the high altar is the confessio where we find the tomb of St. Lawrence. You may wish to refer back to the first part of the NLM's piece on the history and development of the Christian altar which discusses this feature of Roman basilicas.)

(The ancient Ambo. The reason for the two sets of steps is explained by the Catholic Encyclopedia this way: "Originally there was only one ambo in a church, placed in the nave, and provided with two flights of steps; one from the east, the side towards the altar; and the other from the west. From the eastern steps the subdeacon, with his face to the altar, read the Epistles; and from the western steps the deacon, facing the people, read the Gospels.")

(Looking toward the Nave)

Here now, a few photographs from today's papal liturgy in the basilica:

(Outside the Basilica following the Mass)


Thanks to reader SMJ for finding these additional images.

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