Saturday, January 30, 2010

Another Santa Maria Maggiore: Tuscania, Italy

Many of our readers enjoy photos of churches, particularly those they may not hear of so often (if at all), as it gives them a chance to play "tourist" while also providing an opportunity to consider their beauty and history. In my estimation, such a simple exercise is not only spiritually edifying or historically informing, it can also help to inform our sense of our architectural and artistic tradition which is an important foundation for our approach (or re-approach) to sacred art and architecture today. This is true not just from the perspective of art and architecture, but also from the perspective of the ordering of our churches for the sacred liturgy. I am often hopeful that these very simple photo essays will somehow inspire pastors and patrons, architects and artists, liturgists and laity, in these various regards.

Today, I wished to share these photos of another "Santa Maria Maggiore", located in Tuscania, which is in the province of Viterbo in the Latium Region of Italy.

The Ambo and Baptismal Font

The Altar and its Ciborium
(Image source)

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A Quick Thought About the Ambo

Whenever I see historical ambos, a point never fails to arise in my mind -- one which we have raised here numerous times before. Very often today, what amounts to an ambo is essentially a small podium, pulpit or lectern placed within the sanctuary. It seems to me that it would be of merit to consider the revival of more significant ambos again; ambos that approximate more closely to those found within our tradition. This would have an effect of lending an even greater dignity and gravity to the Liturgy of the Word.

Those who are interested in the topic of the historical ambo, please feel free to revisit this NLM article: Ambos, or Ambones (April 2, 2009)

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