Sunday, December 31, 2006

Archbishop Burke in Detroit: Photo Post 2

A shot of some of the organ pipes in Assumption Grotto's choir loft.
Blue light was coming from the large stained-glass window.

Continuing with photos of the visit by Archbishop Raymond L. Burke, as head of the Marian Catechesists - an apostolate founded by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J., whom was being remembered on December 30th.

We continue with the Mass....

The Bishop, priests, and deacon listens to the readings...

The altar boys approach with the thurible that will be used by the Deacon just ahead of reading the Gospel as he stands at the pulpit.

The Deacon reads the Gospel.

The Bishop Speaks!

One of the first things I noticed when I first came to Assumption Grotto in 2005 was that words like sin, sacrifice, mortification, self-denial, justice, confession, devotion, adoration, and many others were not absent from pulpit vocabulary. It is well balanced with words like forgiveness, love, joy, patience and others which, when used exclusively, give the illusion that religion is all about comfort. This is a stark contrast to my post-Conciliar upbringing where the latter ruled. I believe it enabled me to live a life of indifference, and even sinfulness. Like any human, the consequences of Original Sin left me struggling with all sorts of inclinations towards the bad, and made it hard work to do the good and right things. If our pastors and bishops don't challenge us to sanctity, who will? Sermons at Grotto have a way of making us move, not out of fear and trembling, but out of a desire to love God by following his Commandments. This is what wholesome sermons do!

The Archbishop was no different than priests at Grotto in his talks and it is what makes him a shepherd so well followed by young and old alike. He tells it like it is. In his sermon he spoke of Satan's influences today and the importance of being well catechized. He spoke of Fr. Hardon as a Master Catechist and challenged us all to work at the same. The Marian Catechist is not necessarily someone who teaches catechism in the classroom. Rather, it is someone who learns the Catechism well, using a structured approach developed by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J. in a home study program. By becoming well catechized, we become a catechist to anyone we meet on the street, within our families, and in the workplace. It is through this knowledge, and through a structured prayer-life - one based on Eucharistic and Marian devotion, that we make things very difficult for Satan and counter what he has already done in the world. One person at a time, we grow in sanctity, allowing the Blessed Mother to influence us, further crushing the head of the Evil One.

More information on the Marian Catechist Apostolate

These are a few sample pages from the Marian Catechist website...
Once you spend some time exploring this apostolate, you will see just how orthodox it is, and how individual it is. It's done at home - alone or as a family. You can be a theology professor, yet still become a Marian Catechist. You can be a housewife, an engineer, and you can belong to other apostolates and still become a Marian Catechist. It will compliment your work in any other field. Does this mean you will teach catechism in a classroom? No. But, if you teach catechism in a parish, you will become a far better catechist through this program, than 98% of any diocesan programs out there.


Augustine said...

Nice photos.

The church is nice as well. However, Assumption should get rid of the "low" altar. It gets in the way, especially since all of the "big" Masses are said ad orientem.

Az said...

When the "low altar" goes, I hope the "high altar" will be altered to conform to the rubrical requirements of the Pontificale Romanum of Benedict XIV, i.e. freestanding (just like at Barroux, for example)!

Diane said...

Augustine: I spoke to Assumption Grotto's pastor about the low, table Altar. His response was that it must remain at this time.

I too would love to be able to witness, and shoot photos without the table Altar obstructing.

The altar was there when he arrived, and it must remain there at this time. Since I trust my pastor, I have no need to further press his reasons for keeping it there.

Diane said...

Az: Perhaps you could provide a direct quote and cite the source of the "rubrical requirement" of which you speak. I am unfamiliar with it.

However, I can understand your point because if the altar can be separated from the wall - enough to allow a priest to celebrate versus populum or versus orientem - then it would eliminate the need for the table Altar so often discussed in Assumption Grotto's photos.

But, in the book, Turning Towards the Lord, by U.M. Lang, in Chapter 1, we read:
"It is said to be desirable to set up the main altar separate from the back wall, so that the priest can walk around it easily and a celebration facing the people is possible. Josef Andreas Jungmann asks us to consider this:

It is only the possibility that is emphasized. And this [separation of the altar from the wall] is not even prescribed, but is only recommended, as one will see if one looks at the Latin text of the directive.... In the new instruction the general permission of such an altar layout is stressed only with regard to possible obstacles or local restrictions.3"

There are differences between requirements and preferences. I don't believe that Grotto's wall Altar can be separated from the fixture which is above it containing the statues and tabernacle (something I hope to go into greater detail in a future post). And, it is architecturally artistic as seen today.

This leads to another point in Chapter 1 of Lang's book in which he quotes Prot. No 2086/00/L (25 Sept 2000) from Cardinal Medina Estevez, then Prefect of the CDW:

It is in the first place to be borne in mind that the word expedit does not constitute an obligation, but a suggestion that refers to the construction of the altar a pariete sejunctum [detached from the wall] and to the celebration versus populum [toward the people]. The clause ubi possibile sit [where it is possible] refers to different elements, as, for example, the topography of the place, the availability of space, the artistic value of the existing altar, the sensibility of the people participating in the celebrations in a particular church, etc. It reaffirms that the position toward the assembly seems more convenient inasmuch as it makes communication easier (Cf. the editorial in Notitiae 29 [1993] 245-249), without excluding, however, the other possibility.

Brendan O'Rourke said...

Where you say pulpit, the correct word is ambo.

Diane said...

Brendan: Thanks for the mentioning the Ambo. The Catholic Encyclopedia explains:

...A word of Greek origin, supposed to signify a mountain or elevation; at least Innocent III so understood it, for in his work on the Mass (III, xxxiii), after speaking of the deacon ascending the ambo to read the Gospel, he quotes the following from Isaias (xl, 9): "Get thee up upon a high mountain, thou that bringest good tidings to Sion: lift up thy voice with strength". And in the same connection lie also alludes to Our Blessed Lord preaching from a mountain: "He went up into a mountain--and opening his mouth he taught them" (Matthew 5:1, 2). An ambo is an elevated desk or pulpit from which in the early churches and basilicas the Gospel and Epistle were chanted or read, and all kinds of communications were made to the congregation; and sometimes the bishop preached from it, as in the case of St. John Chrysostom, who, Socrates says, was accustomed to mount the ambo to address the people, in order to be more distinctly heard (Eccl. Hist., VI, v)....

Brendan O'Rourke said...

you are welcome! thanks for posting these pictures...its beautiful to see!

Az said...

First, I must re-iterate that the question of a freestanding altar must be separated from that of the position of the priest at the altar (my own preference is for celebrations "ad orientem", "ad apsidem" or whatever you wish to call it). The sources which you quote seem to be related primarily to the latter question, and specifically in the context of what was or wasn't required by Vatican II. As the documents you cite indicate, there is no obligation to remove the altar from the wall today.

However, I wasn't thinking of Vatican II. My concern is with the widespread but mistaken belief that a "wall altar" is somehow more liturgically correct and desirable than a freestanding one. This has never been the case, before or after the Council, but quite the contrary. The rubrics for the consecration of the main altar of a church in the Pontificale Romanum of Benedict XIV requires the consecrator to walk around the altar seven times. Acknowledged rubricists such as Fortescue and O'Connell infer from this that the main altar of a church must be freestanding, and not attached to a wall (Ceremonies of the Roman Rite Described). They echo the interpretation of St Charles Borromeo, whose instruction on church design specifically requires the main altar to be freestanding, if I recall correctly (I do not have a copy to hand, but you should find the linked essay by Matthew E. Gallegos on St Charles Borromeo and the design of Catholic churches interesting in this respect: ).

Also, in the decades before Vatican II it was not uncommon (in Europe) for Catholic churches to be reordered with freestanding altars, with the tabernacle remaining at it's centre (Hammond's 'Liturgy and Architecture'has plenty of photos of pre-Vatican II freestanding arrangements).

gen said...

Oh how I miss Grotto. I moved out west and my church-- although wonderful in every respect-- is simply ugly. It was nice to see familiar faces too!!