Saturday, 23 August 2008

Fr Sean Finnigan of Valle Adurni, like many around the world, is stuck with worshipping in a wigwam (although from the picture below, he's certainly done what he can with it).

Inspired perhaps by the visit of some priestly friends , he composed a prayer, a song in fact, which goes to the tune of "O Lord won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz":

"O Lord, won't you build me a big baroque church?
My friends all have gothics — I'm left in the lurch!
Worked hard in this wigwam, no help despite research,
So Lord, won't you build me a big baroque church?"

And then in the comments box came this answer:

"Answer: No.

I will however provide miraculous funding if you undertake to consult an art historian, an architect (not merely a builder), and European painters and woodcarvers, for the production of a church in early 16th century perpendicular style (rood screen to be included).

Yours sincerely,


Now being a pre-modern kind of girl myself, I'm inclined to go with God on this one (not that I'd turn down a baroque church if it was on offer you understand) - I wonder if his largesse might be extended to the Antipodes?


Michael Sternbeck. said...

Hear the words of the Lord!

David said...

Apologies if you have seen this before (at least 25,000 people have!), but the FSSP show what can be done with one of those "Communion Table Altars" to make it more suitable:

Peter said...


I am sorry to rain on this parade, but while the general intent of what is depicted is obviously laudable and the visual transformation striking, it is nevertheless SCANDALOUS in its actuality

Why? you may ask. The altar is a sacred object, a symbol, a type of Our Lord. It is worthy of veneration in its own rite. It is the altar of sacrifice and the table of the eucharistic banquet.

Although the altar in this church is doubtless ugly, it is NOT a table - it is obviously a freestanding altar, and one must presume it has been duly consecrated by the ordinary - had incense burned on it, been annointed with holy oil and had relics sealed within it. Probably the whole mensa has been consecrated, as is common for freestanding altars, as opposed to older altars which have a consecrated altar stone set in them.
It has certainly had the Holy Sacrifice celebrated upon it, wether in the ordinary or extraordinary form.

All that should rest upon it is what is necessary for the celebration of the liturgy - candlesticks, missal stand etc. It is not a bench.

And what do the well intentioned fathers do to it?

They place benches upon it to serve as faux gradines. Benches whose feet have sat on the dust of the floor.

And not once did I see anyone reverence the altar with a head and shoulders bow which is called for in the EF.

And they placed a 'tabernacle' upon it. One must wonder whether this was to have the Blessed Sacrament reserved within it at any stage. One presumes the church has a tabernacle, properly secured in place as required by Canon Law.

There are many who find the freestanding altar to be 'modernist' (for want of a better term) and that a 'real' altar must have a reredos and gradines.

One must distinguish the substance from the accidents.

Sorry to be a grump.