Sunday, 21 March 2010

The Benedictine altar at Campion

On the feast of St Joseph we inaugurated the Benedictine altar arrangement at Campion College with a new altar crucifix and candlesticks. The Mass began with the rite of blessing for these furnishings which were bought through our Sydney suppliers, Sarks, from Luis Molina Acedo of Madrid.
The crucifix placed in the centre of the altar means that when the priest approaches the altar he is definitely approaching an altar and not merely a table. The Holy Father has asked every parish church in the world to place a crucifix on the altar - a part of the "reform of the reform" which he is helping to engender within the Church. And here at Campion we are trying to respond.
One could ask: why was the crucifix ever taken off the altar? I imagine that it was because of the over emphasis, in recent decades, on the Mass as a meal. And indeed there is a meal in the Mass, but it is a meal which flows out of the sacrifice. Without the sacrifice there would be no Mass at all.
I think that the "new" arrangement indicated by Pope Benedict isn't best termed a Bendictine altar, but simply a Catholic altar.


Sharon said...

The Holy Father has asked every parish church in the world to place a crucifix on the altar

Father, could you give me the link to that request? I will send it to my pp.

Catholic with Attitude said...

I hope this spreads into all parishes.... and perhaps ad orientem!

Martin said...

Ah that beautiful little chapel and I see that the celebrant's chair is the same as in 1977 and the pews too.

We referred to Toongabbie as "Toony" in our day.

Lovely photo and the new crucifix and candles look terrific. After Vat II there was always small crucifix on the altars but the practice somehow died out with the emphasis on the "meal" as you mentioned.



Fr Richard Aladics said...

Martin, I'll take some general photos of the chapel after Easter and do a post on the chapel.

Martin said...

Thank you Fr Richard several of my year would really appreciate seeing the chapel again in pictures.

I was choirmasetr in my time at Toony and Hunters Hill. Fr Luke H can give you the run down LOL.

BTW they had a very old solid brass thuruible in our day and we had the same one at my old parish in Manly. And in 1963 when our parish extended the church and changed from brass to bronze I was given a lot of the old candle sticks and candlelabra plus that wonderful thurible.

Would you believe that in the props dept at my opera house here in Munich they also have the exact model. I had to smile and give it a swing during the Te Deum in Tosca LOL.

Actually a couple of our group would love to come out and see Toongabbie again. Maybe next time I am in Australia.