Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Benedictine Altar Arrangement Reaches Antarctica

An alert reader pointed out to me a photo of a mass said at McMurdo Station in Antarctica by a New Zealand priest, Fr. John Jolliffe. Clergy from that dominion have a long history of serving researchers stationed at McMurdo, ever since a priest from the Christchurch diocese celebrated mass there on December 25, 1957. Of interest, particularly, to our readers is the discrete but very evident presence of a modified traditional Roman altar arrangement of a cross between two candlesticks, of the sort increasingly called the "Benedictine" arrangement because of its promotion in The Spirit of the Liturgy. It is intriguing to think this arrangement, whether deliberately or by coincidence, has reached the final continent. (Or perhaps it never left, I don't know for sure.)

The rest of the article will be of general interest to our readers, given its rare glimpse into a chaplaincy existing on the edge of the world. It is striking to think that even out there you will find a chapel complete with stained-glass and images of Our Lord and Lady.

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