Biskop Elliot om pave Benedikts syn på liturgien – 3

I mitt tredje utdrag fra biskop Elliots foredrag om Ratzinger og liturgien tar jeg med det han sa om hvor viktig alteret er (alteret må aldri bli et spisebord!):

(The pope then) directs us away from ourselves and back to God by focusing on the Christian altar, the great sign of Christ among us. In Feast of Faith and The Spirit of the Liturgy he argued that the altar is not a setting to display a man (a Pope, bishop or priest). One might add that the altar is not a lectern or pulpit. Rather, during the action of the liturgy, the altar itself should draw us around Jesus Christ crucified and risen. This breaks down that self-centric community tendency.

Therefore he shows us a way that helps us “turn to the Lord” whenever Mass is celebrated facing the people. At all papal Masses, the crucifix now stands at the centre, no longer to one side. It is flanked by candles, of a significant size. This arrangement is being called the “Benedictine Altar”. It restores glory to our altars, especially when ornaments of fine quality are used and the altar is vested in a noble antependium.

Having made this change in the parish where I live, I learnt that once the crucifix is the centre of the altar, it becomes visually “an altar”, the great sign of Christ. No longer is it a kind of dining table adorned with candles and flowers. Placing the crucifix at the centre of the altar has also involved the recovery of the pontifical altar at his Masses in St Peter’s Basilica and elsewhere, that is, using the seven candles required by Roman tradition and the General Instruction whenever the Diocesan Bishop solemnly celebrates the Eucharist.

Les hele foredraget her.

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