Monday, September 05, 2011

Noble Clutter?

We here at NLM do not spend the majority of our time critiquing feeling there is ample enough material that needs promoting. That said, sometimes certain occasions present themselves which seem to beg for some sort of comment.

Recently one of our readers sent in photos from Lendak, Slovakia, of a reredos which was carved by Master Paul of Levoča (ca. 1470-1542).

Here it is:

The reredos is beautiful, but unfortunately the clutter which has been placed before and around this altar is most unseemly. Let's have a closer look at it.

By contrast, let's look at a similar altar by Master Paul, devoid of this clutter:

I think it begs the question of which arrangement is the more truly 'noble' in both its simplicity and in its beauty.

The unfortunate part in all this is that all of these elements were introduced, not for reason of actual liturgical necessity, but simply for reason of the perceived needs of post-conciliar liturgy.

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