Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

The Benedictine Arrangement

January 16th, 2012, Promulgated by Bernie

Here is a very interesting link offered on the New Liturgical Movement website concerning The Benedictine Altar Arrangement (Perhaps you remember some disparaging remarks that Father Michael Bausch -Transfiguration Church, Pittsford- had to say about the arrangement in his parish bulletin.)

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Benedictine Arrangement in Homiletic and Pastoral Review

by Matthew Alderman

I was very pleased to discover an article by Fr. Stefan Heid posted on the first of this year over at the Homiletic and Pastoral Review website entitled “Cross, Altar and the Right Way of Praying,” encouraging the revival of the Roman practice of placing the crucifix on the altar even for versus populum celebrations. Here’s just a taste to get you interested:

There will no doubt be some clashes with liturgical committees, when pastors, choosing to follow Roman custom, begin taking their altar crosses out of the closet. In order to forestall precipitous reactions in these debates, we would like to establish the larger context in which the discussion belongs. There are a number of liturgical practices that have disappeared from use over centuries. Without a reflective look at these rituals, however, it could easily happen that even the loveliest of liturgical directives would shrivel into meaningless formalism.

The sacrificial action of the Eucharist takes place on the altar, within a continuous current of prayer: from the prayer over the gifts, through the Eucharistic Prayer, to the Our Father. In this respect, the Eucharistic action is markedly different from the liturgy of the Word that precedes it. The ambo is, strictly speaking, not a place of prayer; the Opening Prayer is better placed at the celebrant’s chair. In the usus antiquior, the priest… 

Read the whole article here.


2 Responses to “The Benedictine Arrangement”

  1. y2kscotty says:

    Have I missed something in the picture of the Pope incensing the altar witht the apparent Benedictine altar arrangement? That is, the candles don’t appear to be lit? What’s the purpose of the candles if they’re not lit? Or is mere formality all that matters?
    I don’t see the reason for such an arrangement when Mass is said facing the people, except, perhaps, to isolate the celebrant from the people for whom the Mass is said.

  2. Bernie says:

    y2kscotty: What picture? You must be referring to an older post that shows the pope incensing the altar. I’m sure the candles are lit and the flame is simply not visible to us because of the angle or some other reason, but certainly not because they were intentionally not put to flame.

    “Or is mere formality all that matters?” That sounds more than a tad snarcky so I will just let that pass.

    As to your last comment I suggest that a carefull reading of the entire link will answer your question.

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