We are not just material beings, but spiritual persons with a need for meaning, purpose, and fulfillment that transcends the visible confines of this world. This longing for transcendence is a longing for truth, goodness, and beauty. Truth, goodness, and beauty are called the transcendentals of being, because they are aspects of being. Everything in existence has these transcendentals to some extent. God, of course, as the source of all truth, goodness, and beauty, has these transcendentals to an infinite degree. Oftentimes, he draws us to himself primarily through one of these transcendentals. St. Augustine, who was drawn to beauty in all its creaturely forms, found the ultimate beauty he was seeking in God, his creator, the beauty “ever ancient, ever new.”―Sister Gabriella Yi, O.P.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Virtual Reality Christ Cathedral. Diocese of Orange special event.

From the OC Catholic website (Diocese of Orange, California).
SEE THE FUTURE CHRIST CATHEDRAL NOW
A virtual reality experience will reveal the future Christ Cathedral, two years before its scheduled completion
http://occatholic.com/see-the-future-christ-cathedral-now/
The Diocese of Orange will celebrate its 40-year history on Sept. 18 [...].
A very special virtual reality event that day will allow congregants to get a glimpse of the fully renovated Christ Cathedral, two years before its scheduled completion.
Using hi-tech virtual reality equipment and complex software the public will be able to tour the interior of the cathedral as it will look when completed, all while sitting within the existing still-under-construction cathedral space.
[...]
All who attend the anniversary celebration on Sept. 18 on the campus of Christ Cathedral will be able to share in the experience. It will be presented in a 3D format that will be mobile-device enabled, permitting thousands of regional Catholics their first glimpse of the future cathedral.
For a complete list of activities planned for the Sept. 18th 40th Anniversary celebration, click here.

Bishop Vann inspects detailed model of renovations | architizer.com


Keep in mind, dear readers, that as you read the following blurb, this building project is not this blogger's favourite cup of tea. The transformation of the sanctuary... well, the creation of a sanctuary... should be of interest to architecturally sensitive Catholics. Sensitive, in the sense we share a concern that church architecture should correspond to a theologically orthodox liturgical vision.

The congregation on the main floor is split into two main groups (divided by aisles) facing across from each other on either side of the new sanctuary. There are second floor galleries that provide additional seating for the congregation. One can imagine that taking Holy Communion to the second floor will involve quite a trek for whoever is carrying a ciborium. Imagine the frequency of accidents occurring if Communion is offered under both kinds (the Body and Blood)! Will the congregation (and for that matter the choir) located on the second floor walk down to receive Holy Communion on the main floor? More likely, Holy Communion will be brought under one kind (the Body) to the second floor. If Holy Communion is offered under both kinds, one can imagine that those who desire to receive under both kinds will be directed to sit on or walk down to the first level. Complicated? We'll see.

The altar is square, which means that half the cathedral can be blocked off and one side used, which means the celebrant will either face the congregation (versus populum) or could, imagine this, face in the same direction as the people. Hypothetically speaking, it would be possible to celebrate the Mass ad orientem at the Cathedral. Though, if celebrated from one side or the other, the priest-celebrant would be looking sideways at the crucifix suspended above the altar. Clumsy! As it is, the congregation views the crucifix under the baldacchino

One can easily imagine that priests will be tempted to elevate the host and show the Eucharistic Lord to the two halves of the congregation. Let's hope they don't give in, otherwise yet another innovation will be introduced into the Mass. That of showing the Consecrated Bread and Wine—the Body and Blood of Christ, that is—like the priest shows the Host in the monstrance during Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

The ambo/pulpit is located opposite the cathedra at the south end of the predella.
It will be fashioned out of travertine and slightly elevated so that the entire congregation will be able to easily hear and view the proclamation of the Word and preaching.
In other words, the lector will be reading toward the cathedra, not toward the congregation which, in the Ordinary Form, could be considered odd. On the other hand, the placement of the ambo could instigate a conversation about the direction in which the word of God should be read. Suddenly, the Epistle and Gospel in the Extraordinary Form of the Mass read by the priest facing 'the wall' doesn't seem so weird, eh?

Given the position of the ambo, one can well imagine that clergy will not preach from it, and instead wander from one side of the sanctuary/predella to the other playing both halves of the now sideways nave. Again, awkward! If we consider that, during Mass, distractions should be kept to a minimum, having a priest saunter (drift, meander...) around the sanctuary seems counterproductive and highly distracting. Or, attracting? Attracting attention, that is, to the homilist. Greeeaaaat. Just what we need. Another occasion for priests to be tempted to engage in narcissistic behaviour accentuating the liability that the Ordinary Form Mass is an occasion for the priest to draw attention to himself.

Somehow the manner in which the Extraordinary Form (and Ordinariate Mass) is conducted seems so much more natural and less clumsy than the manner in which the Ordinary Form is typically celebrated. By encountering the difficulties associated with the Ordinary Form, many of which are exacerbated by architecture theologically divorced from the Sacrifice of the Mass, we can begin to understand why a reform of the reform is necessary, and that the reform must be conducted in a manner which enables believers to (re-)appreciate the elements of Catholic worship together as a whole. For starters: the Mass as Sacrifice; the sanctity of the temple in which the Eucharistic celebration is hosted, if you'll pardon the pun; and the nuances of movement and gesture which embody the theology of the Sacrifice of Calvary. The reform of the reform must repair the divorce and restore unity between action and space. The character of the Ordinary Form will continue to repel and stunt people's faith instead of attracting people into the Mystery of God as long as the authentic ars celebrandi is ignored or forgotten.

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