Cleansing Fire

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Westminster Sanctuary Arrangement Different from 1982 Papal Visit

September 21st, 2010, Promulgated by Bernie

Damian Thompson is Editor of Telegraph Blogs and a journalist specializing in religion. He points out in a recent posting here that the sanctuary arrangement at Westminster for Benedict’s Mass the other day was significantly different from that utilized for John Paul’s 1982 Mass.

Benedict’s Mass was celebrated at the high altar under the ciborium –the cathedral’s original arrangement. John Paul’s Mass was celebrated at an altar placed out in front of the ciborium. A tapestry and flowers screened off from view the original altar in John Paul’s Mass. The tapestry also provided a backdrop to papal throne in the 1982 Mass. Benedict utilized the cathedral’s original cathedra (throne) which stands to the left in the sanctuary.

Also, of course, the altar this time was set up with rather pronounced crucifix and candles in the Benedictine style while for the 1982 visit those were far less obvious with an unobstructed view of the pope during the canon of the Mass.

In the more recent arrangement, Benedict redirected the emphasis to where it belonged.

Pope John Paul II's 1982 Mass at Westminster

Pope Benedict XVI's 2010 Mass at Westminster

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4 Responses to “Westminster Sanctuary Arrangement Different from 1982 Papal Visit”

  1. Christopher says:

    Trivia question of the day, why is the pope wearing red?

  2. Gretchen says:

    Because he was celebrating the Votive Mass of the Precious Blood.

  3. Jim R says:

    I was somewhat surprised at the number of fiddlebacks in the JPII picture. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away!

  4. Bernie says:

    Yes, I noticed that, too.

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