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Re: Antimension [Re: Altar Server] #321954
05/12/09 10:53 PM
05/12/09 10:53 PM
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Fr. Deacon Lance Offline
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The General Instruction on the Roman Missal states relics under the altar are to be retained:

302. The practice of placing relics of Saints, even those not Martyrs, under the altar to be dedicated is fittingly retained. Care should be taken, however, to ensure the authenticity of such relics.

Those who went about throwing away altar stones were operating under their own misguided ideas.

Fr. Deacon Lance


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Re: Antimension [Re: Fr. Deacon Lance] #321956
05/12/09 11:28 PM
05/12/09 11:28 PM
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Posts: 4,678
Georgia
Logos - Alexis Offline
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Father Deacon,

That is reassuring to know. Thanks for looking that up for us.

But then what are the requirements for Holy Mass to be celebrated at places where there is no altar?

For example, my family has a lake house and there is an outdoor Mass celebrated at one of the public park sites at this covered, outdoor gathering place at the lake (where I go to fulfill my Sunday obligation while there). There is an "altar," but is it really an altar?

Perhaps now my question has morphed into, "What are the requirements for a surface upon which Mass is celebrated to be properly termed an 'altar'?"

And if it is an altar, then mustn't it contain, as Father Deacon noted, relics of the saints?

Alexis

Last edited by Logos - Alexis; 05/12/09 11:29 PM.
Re: Antimension [Re: Altar Server] #321957
05/12/09 11:31 PM
05/12/09 11:31 PM
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Georgia
Logos - Alexis Offline
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Altar Server,

OF COURSE they shouldn't be thrown in trash dumps! LOL. But are you surprised? Much worse has happened.

Alexis

Re: Antimension [Re: Logos - Alexis] #321961
05/13/09 12:05 AM
05/13/09 12:05 AM
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Fr. Deacon Lance Offline
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From the GIRM:

The Altar and Its Appointments

296. The altar on which the Sacrifice of the Cross is made present under sacramental signs is also the table of the Lord to which the People of God is called together to participate in the Mass, as well as the center of the thanksgiving that is accomplished through the Eucharist.

297. The celebration of the Eucharist in a sacred place is to be carried out on an altar; but outside a sacred place, it may be carried out on a suitable table, always with the use of a cloth, a corporal, a cross, and candles.

298. It is appropriate to have a fixed altar in every church, since it more clearly and permanently signifies Christ Jesus, the living stone (1 Pt 2:4; cf. Eph 2:20). In other places set aside for sacred celebrations, the altar may be movable.

An altar is called "fixed" if it is attached to the floor so as not to be irremoveable; otherwise it is called "moveable."

299. The altar should be built apart from the wall, in such a way that it is possible to walk around it easily and that Mass can be celebrated at it facing the people, which is desirable wherever possible. The altar should, moreover, be so placed as to be truly the center toward which the attention of the whole congregation of the faithful naturally turns.116 The altar is usually fixed and is dedicated.

300. An altar whether fixed or movable is dedicated according to the rite prescribed in the Roman Pontifical; but it is permissible for a movable altar simply to be blessed.

301. In keeping with the Church's traditional practice and the altar's symbolism, the table of a fixed altar is to be of stone and indeed of natural stone. In the dioceses of the United States of America, however, wood which is worthy, solid, and well-crafted may be used, provided that the altar is structurally immobile. The supports or base for upholding the table, however, may be made of any sort of material, provided it is worthy and solid.

A movable altar may be constructed of any noble and solid materials suited to liturgical use, according to the traditions and usages of the different regions.

302. The practice of placing relics of Saints, even those not Martyrs, under the altar to be dedicated is fittingly retained. Care should be taken, however, to ensure the authenticity of such relics.

303. In building new churches, it is preferable to erect a single altar which in the gathering of the faithful will signify the one Christ and the one Eucharist of the Church.

In already existing churches, however, when the old altar is positioned so that it makes the people's participation difficult but cannot be moved without damage to its artistic value, another fixed altar, of artistic merit and duly dedicated, should be erected and sacred rites celebrated on it alone. In order not to distract the attention of the faithful from the new altar, the old altar should not be decorated in any special way.

304. Out of reverence for the celebration of the memorial of the Lord and for the banquet in which the Body and Blood of the Lord are offered on an altar where this memorial is celebrated, there should be at least one white cloth, its shape, size, and decoration in keeping with the altar's design. When, in the dioceses of the United States of America, other cloths are used in addition to the altar cloth, then those cloths may be of other colors possessing Christian honorific or festive significance according to longstanding local usage, provided that the uppermost cloth covering the mensa (i.e., the altar cloth itself) is always white in color.

305. Moderation should be observed in the decoration of the altar.

During Advent the floral decoration of the altar should be marked by a moderation suited to the character of this season, without expressing prematurely the full joy of the Nativity of the Lord. During Lent it is forbidden for the altar to be decorated with flowers. Laetare Sunday (Fourth Sunday of Lent), Solemnities, and Feasts are exceptions.

Floral decorations should always be done with moderation and placed around the altar rather than on its mensa.

306. Only what is required for the celebration of the Mass may be placed on the mensa of the altar: namely, from the beginning of the celebration until the proclamation of the Gospel, the Book of the Gospels; then from the Presentation of the Gifts until the purification of the vessels, the chalice with the paten, a ciborium if necessary, and, finally, the corporal, the purificator, the pall, and the Missal.

In addition, microphones that may be needed to amplify the priest's voice should be arranged discreetly.

307. The candles, which are required at every liturgical service out of reverence and on account of the festiveness of the celebration (cf. above, no. 117), are to be appropriately placed either on or around the altar in a way suited to the design of the altar and the sanctuary so that the whole may be well balanced and not interfere with the faithful's clear view of what takes place at the altar or what is placed on it.

308. There is also to be a cross, with the figure of Christ crucified upon it, either on the altar or near it, where it is clearly visible to the assembled congregation. It is appropriate that such a cross, which calls to mind for the faithful the saving Passion of the Lord, remain near the altar even outside of liturgical celebrations.


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Re: Antimension [Re: Fr. Deacon Lance] #321963
05/13/09 12:19 AM
05/13/09 12:19 AM
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Fr. Deacon Lance Offline
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Alexis,

Tha main fixed altar of parish churches should have relics but movable altars do not need them. Given that Mass is sometimes held at temporary outdoor sites or one-time occasions at convention centers or hotel conference rooms it seems in practice any suitable table could be used as long as the proper appointments are used: a white altar cloth, corporal, Crucifix, and two candles.

Use or an antimension or portable altar stone (some still do exist) is laudable but not required at least in the Ordinary form.

I will admit I had never heard of a Latin antimension. I think most Latin priests that are devout enough to think of using one request one from a Byzantine hierarch. I requested one as an ordination gift for my cousin who is a Latin Catholic priest. Metropolitan Judson of blessed memory graciously assented.

Fr. Deacon Lance


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Re: Antimension [Re: Fr. Deacon Lance] #321979
05/13/09 07:57 AM
05/13/09 07:57 AM
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Rocky Hill, CT
John K Offline
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Originally Posted by Fr. Deacon Lance
From the GIRM:

The Altar and Its Appointments

307. The candles, which are required at every liturgical service out of reverence and on account of the festiveness of the celebration (cf. above, no. 117), are to be appropriately placed either on or around the altar in a way suited to the design of the altar and the sanctuary so that the whole may be well balanced and not interfere with the faithful's clear view of what takes place at the altar or what is placed on it.

308. There is also to be a cross, with the figure of Christ crucified upon it, either on the altar or near it, where it is clearly visible to the assembled congregation. It is appropriate that such a cross, which calls to mind for the faithful the saving Passion of the Lord, remain near the altar even outside of liturgical celebrations.


So to me, #307 seems to be violated by the so-called "Benedictine arrangement" of 6 (or 7 if a bishop is presiding) candles on the altar with the cross in the middle, set-up the way it used to be for the old Mass, only between the people and priest. Any thoughts?

Re: Antimension [Re: Logos - Alexis] #321980
05/13/09 08:08 AM
05/13/09 08:08 AM
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Missouri USA
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No I guess not.

Re: Antimension [Re: John K] #321981
05/13/09 08:16 AM
05/13/09 08:16 AM
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Yes it does seem to violate the GIRM but not the Missal itself or any other liturgical book. The Missal still tells the priest to turn and face the people, but the pope knows his stuff and I trust him.

David smile

Re: Antimension [Re: Logos - Alexis] #322074
05/14/09 12:19 PM
05/14/09 12:19 PM
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tornado alley
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Some years ago I was visiting a R.C. seminary in the North East USA. When in the sacristy I saw two altar stones in the trash can. I could not believe my eyes. I asked the Rector why they were there and he told me that they were no longer needed. I asked if I could have them and he gave them to me with a bit of a sneer. They are now each in an altar being used as they were meant to be; for the celebration of the Eucharistic Sacrifice.
They had been consecrated by John +Cardinal Krol of Philadelphia and, according to the sticker on them, contained the relics of "SS. Clement and Lucian, Martyrs".

Re: Antimension [Re: monksilouan] #322083
05/14/09 02:15 PM
05/14/09 02:15 PM
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Dublin
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Fr Serge Keleher Offline
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Putting consecrated Altar Stones, complete with relics of the Holy Martyrs, into the trash is one of those phenomena which beggar the imagination.

In England, during the reign of Anne Boleyn's daughter Elizabeth, when Altars were destroyed wholesale, there was a common practice of setting the Altar Stone into the floor of the nave, in such a position that the clergy had to step on it when they came in to hold a service. But that, in a backhanded way, is at least an acknowledgement that the Altar Stone has religious significance.

Fr. Serge

Re: Antimension [Re: monksilouan] #322084
05/14/09 02:30 PM
05/14/09 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by monksilouan
Some years ago I was visiting a R.C. seminary in the North East USA. When in the sacristy I saw two altar stones in the trash can. I could not believe my eyes. I asked the Rector why they were there and he told me that they were no longer needed. I asked if I could have them and he gave them to me with a bit of a sneer. They are now each in an altar being used as they were meant to be; for the celebration of the Eucharistic Sacrifice.
They had been consecrated by John +Cardinal Krol of Philadelphia and, according to the sticker on them, contained the relics of "SS. Clement and Lucian, Martyrs".

Thank you for preventing this sacrilege!

Re: Antimension [Re: Latin Catholic] #322092
05/14/09 06:43 PM
05/14/09 06:43 PM
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Missouri USA
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Yes thank you. smile

Re: Antimension [Re: Altar Server] #322098
05/14/09 07:38 PM
05/14/09 07:38 PM
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USA
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A Greek Orthodox priest acquaintance of ours told us that when he first was assigned to his church in Denver, the surrounding RC churches were all offering him relics of saints because 'they did not need them anymore'.

Re: Antimension [Re: Alice] #322100
05/14/09 07:50 PM
05/14/09 07:50 PM
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West of Johnstown
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Originally Posted by Alice
A Greek Orthodox priest acquaintance of ours told us that when he first was assigned to his church in Denver, the surrounding RC churches were all offering him relics of saints because 'they did not need them anymore'.


Shaking head.... frown

Re: Antimension [Re: Etnick] #322101
05/14/09 08:01 PM
05/14/09 08:01 PM
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Georgia
Logos - Alexis Offline
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I am really scandalized by monksilouan's story.

What kind of a Christian - let alone a PRIEST - thinks it's okay to dump the relics of saints into the TRASH? How screwed up do you have to be? Lord have mercy.

Alexis

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