reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churches

Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Thu Mar 22, 2012 12:56 am

The Abbey Church, Collegeville, Minnesota


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The artwork is by Br. Clement Frischauf, OSB (1869-1944), an artist of the Beuronese school.

He was also responsible for the decoration of St Anslem's in the Bronx, New York

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Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:11 am

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Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:15 am

Kostel Panny Marie Růžencové in Budweis

http://www.petrini.cz/galerie/2
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Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Tue Apr 10, 2012 1:53 pm

Tiles & Architectural Ceramics Society (TACS)

http://www.tilesoc.org.uk/
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Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Tue Apr 10, 2012 2:01 pm

Re J.C. Edwards, clay makers, Ruabon, Wales
Rhosymedreu

St John’s Church, Church Street (just north of the B5605) was rebuilt and refitted in 1887-8, partly at the cost of the claymaster J. C. Edwards, whose Pen-y-bont and Trefynant Works lay within a mile or so of St John’s. The Wrexham Advertiser recorded that Edwards supplied encaustic tiles, made at his own works, for the pavement which ran throughout the church; this includes five unusual four-tile groups, one depicting three fishes.[51] Edwards died in 1896, and an elaborate tiled reredos was erected in his memory in 1906. It was made at the Trefynant Works by members of the congregation and that of a nearby church, and combines encaustic, relief moulded and plain tiles. In the churchyard is headstone with two inset relief tiles dating from the 1880s.


See: Derek Jones, 'St John the Evangelist Church, Rhosymedre, Clwyd and J. C. Edwards', Glazed Expressions, (1987) 14, pp7-8.
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Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Tue Apr 10, 2012 10:08 pm

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Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Tue Apr 10, 2012 10:18 pm

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Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Wed Apr 18, 2012 1:55 pm

Church Architecture and Irish Catholicism - Fr Kevin Hegarty

Talleyrand, a french bishop in the 18th century, who had lost his faith, spent one Easter Sunday trying to avoid saying Mass.

‘Aubade’ he refers to religion as “that vast, moth-eated musical brocade/created to pretend we never die”.

Yet Larkin was fascinated by churches. He had a habit, when cycling around England, of visiting old ones when no one was looking, and taking off his cycle-clips in ‘awkward reverence’.

Wondering why this ‘special shell’ was built, he concludes that churches are places where significant rituals are celebrated and dignified.

“A serious house on serious-earth it is, in whose blent air all our compulsions meet, are recognised and roved as destinies and that much never can be obsolete since someone will forever be surprising. A hunger in himself to be more serious and gravitating with it to this ground which he once heard, was proper to grow wise in. If only that so many dead lie around."

My thoughts here on the specific subject of Irish church architecture are prompted by the death recently of Richard Hurley, a leading church architect for over 40 years. He won several awards for his work, most recently an RIAI one for his design of St Mary’s Oratory in Maynooth College. He also wrote a study of Irish Church architecture in the era of Vatican II, a beautiful compendium that is both a scholarly work and an adornment to a coffee table.

In the book he makes the point that the stock of Roman Catholic churches in Ireland is of relatively recent provenance. By the 18th century the marginalisation of Roman Catholics in Ireland culminated in the Penal Laws which prohibited public catholic practise.

Catholic warship was mostly confirmed to Mass houses which were little more than thatched sheds with clay floors.

As the catholic community emerged from this somewhat catacomb existence and began to build churches again. It had no accessible architectural heritage to guide it. Most of the early churches were cramped and impoverished in design and materials.

The Catholic Emancipation Act of 1829 gave a tremendous psychological boost to the community. In the century that followed 24 cathedrals and over 3, 000 churches were erected. There was nothing however indigenous in their design.

Up to the 1870’s many of those buildings were influenced by the Gothic revival. Gothic architecture expressed a theology of church which was then dominant.


An exclusively hierarchical organisation, a priest who controlled all proceedings and an uninvolved laity. The long Gothic nave and remote sanctuary provided the setting for a priest who offered Mass on behalf of a congregation who participated in silence.

Many of them, whatever about their madness, liturgical deficiencies are beautiful buildings, a great achievement given the difficulties under which architects and builders laboured. There was little tradition in Ireland of erecting large buildings. There was a shortage of competent artisans and most catholic parishes were poor.

By the start of the 20th century the Gothic style had been largely replaced by the Hiberno Ramanesque, one of which St Patrick’s Church in Newport is a prime example. This style harked back to the 12th century when small chapels like Cormac’s are in Cashel were in Vogue.

There was some hope that a distinctive Irish mode of church buildings might emerge in the new century. A school of architecture had been set in the newly founded University College, Dublin.

However, architectural conservatism dominated in the first half of the century, apart from the modernist example of Turner’s Cross Church in Cork. Clerics generally were interviewed to change.


They preferred continental copies to Irish innovation. Michael Scott’s creative design for a church in Lettermore in County Galway was binned by the parish priest.

This did not really change until the second Vatican council. In line with its theological and liturgical insights. The people were now seen not as pious observers of exalted rituals but as participants in their creation.


New churches were expected to reflect this revolution.


Hurley argues that Irish architects rose well to the challenge, creating a body of work that remains with the best produced in Europe in the last half century.

He rightly accords Liam McCormick, the accolade of the most important Irish church architect of his generation. He designed several memorable churches, mainly in Donegal and Derry. He had a natural instinct for the wonderful possibilities of the Western landscape which shaped his architectural designs.

His masterpiece is St Aengus’s Church, overlooking Lough Swilly and Lough Foyle, which won the award for the most distinctive Irish building of the 20th century.


In its shape, construction materials and artistic embellishment, it is a magical creation.


If you find yourself in Donegal, whether you are a believer or like Philip Larkin, you wonder what it is all about, go and see it.


——————————————————————————–


Fr Kevin Hegarty is a priest in the parish of Kilmore-Erris in Co Mayo, and a columnist with the Mayo News
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Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Sat Apr 21, 2012 12:19 am

Fr. Hegarty's Review of the late Richard Hurley's
Irish Church Architecture in the Era of Vatican II (Dominican Publications, Dublin 2001)



It was kind of Fr. Hegarty to remind us the late Richard Hurley's book Irish Church Architecture in the Era of Vatican II in his recent sympathetic review which was one of the very few items, if not the only, to appear in wider Irish and international obital press. While his subject's contribution to Irish ecclesiastical architecture was expectedly recalled and marmorised by the contributions of Bishop O'Reilly of Ardagh and Clonmacnoise in his diocesan website and by Fr. Patrick Jones in a more ecclesiastical establishment publication, Fr. Hegarty's contribution has done some service to his wider church (and non church) readership by contextualising the real significance of his subject's oeuvre both in national and international terms, as well divesting it of the kind of establishment straight-jacket which risked monopolizing it.

While all will readily understand the literary constraints imposed on critical judgement by the circumstances of Fr. Hegarty's revied of this 2001 publication, nonetheless, discretion may have been the better part when faced with the book's almost childlike repetition of the liturgical historeography so much associated with the figure of Andreas Jungmann; and of the idea of active participation advanced as early as 1928, principally though not exclusively, by Pius Parsch which can sometimes become fixated with the texts of the Mass and the speaking of those texts (cf. R. Stafin, Eucharistie als Quelle der Gnade bei Pius Parsch: Ein neues Verhältnis zwischen Gott und dem Menschen (Würzburg, 2004), pp 130ff); as well as the levelling out of all hierarchial distinctions within the worshipping community (cf. Theodore Schnitzler, Die Messe in der Betrachtung II (Freiburg, 1957)); or, ironically, the recourse to authoritarianism needed to maintain order on an otherwise amorphous type of worshipping assembly advocated by Paul Weß (cf. ‘Die Stellung der Gemeinde in der Meßfeier’, in Bewahren und Erneuern: Studien zur Meßliturgie (Innsbruck), 1995.

As with Prof. Emmet Larkin's theory of the devotional revolution in 19th. century Ireland, these theories of the liturgical movement of the early 20th. century, while often containing a grain of truth in their original context, have over the past 50 years been refined, qualified, critically re-cast or simply abandoned. Repeating them as Vatican II stone-graven untoucheables is simply naive, unhistorical and quite oblivious to a considerable amount of liturgical scholarship which has gone on since the 1960s.

While reading Fr. Hegarty's juxta positioning of the active happy-clappy participating liturgical assembly in some idealised post Vatican II context with a pre Vatican II situation in which
"The people were now seen ... as pious observers of exalted rituals...": one could not help thinking of Eamon Duffy's description of the vibrant liturgical and devotional life which characterised the English church on the eve of the Henrician and Edwardine reformation (Cf. The Stripping of the Altars). Duffy makes more than abundantly clear that there was active participation in the church's liturgical life at this period in England. Furthermore, he make perfectly clear that through institutions such as the guild system, that participation was played out on a multiplicity levels and to a wide variation of degree. Every worshipper found his own level and degree of participation in the sacred rites and in the church's devotional life. Fr. Hegarty must surely regard it as paradoxical that the liturgical Gestapo made its first appearance in the Catholic Church in the post Vatican II period often to jackboot a one-sized version of active participation on all and sundry? Surely, there must be some personal aspect to active participation if the liturgy is not simply to degenerate to something like the Nuremberg rallies?

Fr. Hegarty's review did well to diffuse his subject's views with regard to the place of Irish modernism in a European or global context. It might have been illuminating, if it were needed, to have hear something of their reception among our European and American peers. Liam McCormack is particularily lauded but we are again left very much in the dark by the reviewer's omission of any attempt to locate his subject's oeuvre in that same context.
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Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Sat Apr 21, 2012 1:15 pm

'Cardboard' cathedral for Christchurch

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New Zealand's Anglican church will build a temporary cathedral made of cardboard in earthquake-devastated Christchurch as it works towards a permanent replacement for its 131-year old landmark destroyed last year.

The Victorian-era, Gothic-style cathedral, which dominated the city's central square, was badly damaged in the February 2011 quake, and is being demolished.

The replacement, an A-frame structure designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, will be built on the site of another historic church, which was also destroyed in the 6.3 magnitude quake.

"The Transitional Cathedral is a symbol of hope for the future of this city as well as being sustainable and affordable," spokesman Richard Gray said.

The temporary cathedral will be made of cardboard tubes, timber beams, structural steel and a concrete pad, and is intended to last more than 20 years. It is expected to be finished in time for Christmas services in December.

Mr Ban is known for his reinforced paper and cardboard structures and designed a similar "paper church" after the 1995 Kobe earthquake in Japan.

Christchurch's landmark cathedral was a favourite meeting place and tourist attraction, but any chance of saving it was ended by several strong aftershocks that caused more damage.

New Zealand faces a NZ$20 billion (€12 billion) bill to rebuild its second largest city, the centre of which remains off limits more than a year after the quake.

Whole blocks have been reduced to bare land.

However, thousands of tremors, some with magnitudes of up to 6, have delayed any concerted rebuilding.
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Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Sat Apr 21, 2012 1:20 pm

The Origins of the Iconostasis [continued]

JULIAN WALTER, AA
(Eastern Churches Review, Vol. Ill, No. 3. 1971)

The Iconography of the Iconostasis

The screen not only acted as a physical barrier between the clergy and the laity. It was also an ideological frontier. Within the sanctuary reigned official conceptions of doctrine and worship. Outside were the faithful who, while ready to listen to official doctrine and participate in official worship, retained, perhaps, a preference for their private devotions and beliefs. We have, therefore, not only to interpret correctly the pictures displayed on the screen but also to determine how far the liturgical notions expressed in them were modified by the clergy capitulating to the devotional preferences of the laity.

As far as official doctrine was concerned it would seem that the screen was at first decorated with subjects which were usual in the apse. In the period before iconoclasm Christ was conceived as the Emperor of Heaven, surrounded by his court. The courtiers were the angels and those who had acknowledged his divinity as the Word made Flesh: the Virgin, John the Baptist and the Apostles. To these could be added the prophets who had foreseen his coming and sometimes those who had seen him in a vision after his resurrection. Portraits of these 'visionaries' in medallions appear at the entrance to the apse of San Vitale in Ravenna and around the mosaic of the Transfiguration at Saint Catherine's, Mount Sinai.

It is with these mosaic programmes that I would associate the medallions which decorated the screen in Saint Sophia. It would be quite wrong, to my mind, to see here a Deesis. The Deesis, one of the most widespread themes in later Byzantine art, is composed of the Virgin and John the Baptist interceding for mankind before Christ. It appears also in an expanded form, known as the Great Deesis, incorporating other saints. But in the period before Iconoclasm the Virgin and John the Baptist are not represented as interceding for mankind; they are witnesses of Christ's divinity. They continue to appear as such after the Triumph of Orthodoxy, for example in a chapel in Hagia Sophia where they are represented together with other 'visionaries' like Constantine and the ieonodule patriarchs, who had recognized that an icon of Christ was, as Theodore the Studite put it, the image of the hypostasis of the Incarnate Word.

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The intercessory role of the saints had been called in question by the iconoclast Emperor Constantine V Copronymus. It was explicitly stated to be part of the doctrine of the Church at the second Council of Nicaea. Monastic writers encouraged devotion to the saints, stressing particularly the supreme mediatory role of the Virgin. The Virgin was, in fact, given the title of Paraklesis—advocate, and represented as such upon icons, inclining her head and stretching out her arms. The earliest surviving representation of the Virgin in this position is probably in the mosaic over the main door leading from the narthex into Hagia Sophia. It dates from the reign of Emperor Leo VI (886-912), who is himself prostrate at the feet of Christ in the same mosaic. John the Baptist is not represented the other side but an angel courtier. Christ himself appears as Emperor and Pantocrator. Christ's role as governor of the universe was another doctrine which was very much in vogue in the decades following the Triumph of Orthodoxy.

Icons of Christ Pantocrator are extremely numerous. They must have been often coupled with icons of the Virgin Paraklesis, although few of these have survived. However two which evidently have always belonged together are still in the Hermitage of Saint Neophytus in Cyprus (Plates 3 and 4). Other evidence may be cited in support of the view that these icons, symbolizing the principal themes of orthodox doctrine, were the object of widespread devotion. Saint Stephen the Younger, one of the principal iconodule martyrs, is often represented holding a double icon of Christ Pantocrator and the Virgin Paraklesis; one example is in the Theodore Psalter in the British Museum, illustrated in 1066. Further in a picture of the second Council of Nicaea in the Metropolis at Mistra in Greece the emperor, empress and council fathers are represented venerating the same double icon.

We have an example here of devotion, albeit a devotion which was profoundly doctrinal, influencing the decorative programme of the sanctuary. The Pantocrator and the Virgin Paraklesis seem to have regularly figured there. Either they were portable icons or they were painted in fresco on the pillars either side of the choir screen, as at Qeledjlar in Cappadocia or at Lagoudera in Cyprus. A third possibility, as we have already seen, was to fix them to the roof of the baldaquin. An example of the Pantocrator and the Paraklesis flanked by angels and placed in front of the roof of the baldaquin is to be found in the Madrid Skyllitzes, to which I have already referred. The miniature is in bad condition, but I can vouch for the accuracy of the drawing, having examined the manuscript myself in August 1970.

The incident in question concerns the iconoclast Patriarch John the Grammarian who was exiled at the beginning of the reign of the Emperor Michael III (842-867) to a monastery. John Skyllitzes based his account of Michael III's reign largely upon that of the chronicler known as Theophanes Continuatus. According to the latter John the Grammarian saw upon the roof a picture which seemed to be looking at him. Unable to bear the idea of being observed by a picture, he ordered his servant to put its eyes out. The point of the story is double. First it is evidence of the iconoclast's lack of respect for icons; secondly it betrays him as aware in spite of himself of the 'presence' of the prototype in the representation.

John Skyllitzes tells the story with embellishments. He specifies that there were several pictures portraying Christ, the Virgin and the angels. John the Grammarian, according to him, ordered a deacon to climb up and put out the eyes of these venerable images, saying that they lacked the faculty of sight. The Empress Theodora, Michael Ill's mother and a fanatical iconodule, retorted by having John the Grammarian deprived of the same faculty.

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In the Madrid manuscript we see a construction which is presumably a baldaquin with the icons set in arcades in a continuous row. It is thus that the icons appear which once ran along the top of the architrave of sanctuary screens at Saint Catherine's, Mount Sinai, Vatopedi on Mount Athos and the Hermitage in Leningrad. In none of these groups of icons do we find the Paraklesis and the Pantocrator. The Deesis has taken their place. Here again we have, perhaps, a sign of popular devotion influencing an official programme, for the Deesis seems to have first figured as a devotional theme before being incorporated into the scene of the Last Judgment in the late 11th century.

The icons which survive from 11th- and 12th-century sanctuary screens have only a limited range of subjects. Those in Leningrad show the Apostle Philip with Saints Demetrius and Theodore and two of the Great Feasts. The saints and the feasts are not from the same screen. Those in the monastery of Vatopedi show Christ flanked by the Virgin, John the Baptist and other saints; in medallions between the arches are angels. At the extremities are two scenes from the Childhood of the Virgin and six of the Great Feasts. Part of this long panel (originally it would have been about fifteen feet from one end to the other) is lost. The Mount Sinai icons also show the Deesis and saints together with the Great Feasts. But in one case the Deesis is flanked with scenes from the Life of Saint Eustratius.

To these should be added the series of six Great Feasts richly decorated with jewels and now incorporated into the Pala d'Oro in Saint Mark's, Venice. These enamels, some of the finest Constantinopolitan work of the 12th century, were brought to Saint Mark's as booty by the Venetians after the Sack of Constantinople. Two hundred years later, on the occasion of the Council of Florence, John Syropoulos saw the enamels in Saint Mark's; he maintained that originally they were in the Pantocrator, the monastery of the Comneni in Constantinople. They would have no doubt been mounted on the screen of one of the three churches built there by Emperor John II Comnenus (1118-1143) and his wife Irene.

To the subjects which should be connected with the sanctuary screen I should add the Annunciation, often represented on the doors. This is a subject which belongs to the sanctuary, often being represented to left and right of the triumphal arch before the apse. The other subjects, however, the great Deesis and the Great Feasts, do not belong particularly to the sanctuary. How did they find their way to the sanctuary screen? They were certainly portrayed on icons which were the object of private or public devotion. The icon of a Great Feast, known as the icon of the proskynesis, would be displayed upon a stand, as we have seen, and Venerated on the occasion of the feast in question. I should suggest that in assembling icons which were the object of devotion in a coherent programme and mounting them on the screen liturgists were attempting to integrate private devotion into the public worship of the Church. The connection between the Great Feasts and the liturgical calendar does not need to be laboured, while the icons of saints would correspond to the invocations in the Litanies used during the Eucharist. Consequently we find the programmes of the sanctuary screen being brought back again into relationship with the sanctuary, for it was at precisely the same period that new programmes were being developed for decorating the apse, which related the Eucharist to the Communion of the Apostles and the Celestial Liturgy and associated in this common worship the canonized bishops of the Byzantine church.
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Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Sat Apr 21, 2012 1:29 pm

From the Daily Mail
Extraordinary discovery of 12th century abbot's grave:

2012 technology could unmask his identity - and that of a ghost that roams the site
Carbon dating and pathology to be used on skeleton
Abbot reckoned to be 'portly' because of curvature of the spine
Cistercian monastery supposedly 'haunted' by several ghosts

By Paul Harris


For something like seven centuries he had lain undisturbed.

He – or at least his remains – survived Henry VIII’s destruction of his abbey in 1537, eluded the grave-robbers that followed, and avoided discovery by Victorian archaeologists.

Even deep excavations and the underpinning of the crumbling building in the 1930s failed to unearth him.
But the abbot who headed Britain’s second richest and most powerful Cistercian monastery may soon be unmasked – along with the identity, perhaps, of one of the site’s ghosts.


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Two years after his final resting place was uncovered beneath the ruins of Furness Abbey, his secrets – and the treasures he took to his grave – are being scrutinised by 21st century technology and expertise.

With the wonders of carbon dating and modern pathological and archaeological knowledge, specialists are confident they can fill a missing chapter in the history of the Lake District Abbey that inspired Wordsworth and Turner.

The skeleton of a portly figure was discovered almost by fluke when emergency repairs had to be made to the abbey at Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria.

Cracks had appeared in the ‘mouldered


They were caused by medieval wooden foundations rotting away. Archaeologists and structural engineers called in to examine them dug down and found an undisturbed, unmarked and unknown grave.
Its significance was immediately apparent. Whoever was buried here had been placed in the presbytery – the most prestigious position in the abbey, usually reserved for those held in greatest esteem.

With the remains were rare medieval jewellery and a silver and gilt crozier, a senior abbot’s staff of office.

The discovery might also shed light, depending on your point of view, on whether the fat abbot might be one of several ghosts said to have been sighted in the ruins.

Experts at Oxford Archaeology North, which led excavations, believe the skeleton is that of a man aged 40 to 50.


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The curvature of the spine suggests he was obese and perhaps suffering from type-2 diabetes.

That is possibly confirmed by the position of his arms, which lie flanked around his girth rather than crossed over his chest.

Although he could have died as early as the 1150s, English Heritage curator Susan Harrison believes the grave more likely dates from the 1350s to early 1500s.

‘This is a very significant discovery,’ she said. ‘There has been no comparative grave found for the last 50 years in British archaeology.’

The head of the crozier, an ornamental staff carried by high-ranking members of the church, is gilded copper decorated with silver medallions that show the archangel Michael slaying a dragon.

The crook end is decorated with a serpent’s head. A small section of the wooden staff survives – as does part of the cloth the abbot held to prevent his hand tarnishing the crozier.

The ring he wore is gilded silver set with a gemstone of white rock crystal or white sapphire. It is possible that a hollow behind the stone contains a relic – perhaps what the monastery believed to be part of the body of a saint.

Both items are to go on public display at the abbey over the Bank Holiday weekend of May 4 to 7.

In its heyday, Furness Abbey was fabulously wealthy. But after the dissolution of monasteries in the 1530s it was stripped of virtually all its treasures and left to crumble.

English Heritage’s Susan Harrison said that, although the crozier and ring were rare, of more interest was the fact that such an important grave could be excavated and analysed using the most modern techniques to harvest as much information as possible.

Dating the grave could even produce a name for the abbot when matched against historical listings.
And the ghost? ‘I’d like to thoroughly quash all the ghost stories around this and concentrate on reality,’ Miss Harrison said.
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Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Tue Apr 24, 2012 9:06 am

Pugin Bi-Centenary in Tasmania

At St. Patrick's, Coledale

http://www.puginfoundation.org/index.ph ... assgallery
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Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:28 pm

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Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Thu Apr 26, 2012 12:07 am

The Origins of the Iconostasis [continued]

JULIAN WALTER, AA
(Eastern Churches Review, Vol. Ill, No. 3. 1971)

Conclusion

We are thus back where we started. The text which I quoted from Bishop Symeon's mystagogical commentary describes the Byzantine sanctuary screen just at the time when it was about to be transformed into the classical iconostasis. The earlier elements would remain. Two icons, the Pantocrator and the Hodegetria or Eleousa replacing the Paraklesis, would continue to be particularly venerated. They were fixed to right and left of the door to the sanctuary. The Deesis and the Great Feasts also remain, but incorporated into a more far-reaching programme embracing the whole divine dispensation. The icons, particularly those executed in Russia, would rapidly grow in size. The Deesis attributed to Andrei Rublev which forms part of the choir screen at Zvenigrad is over three feet high.

Multiplication of themes, increase of size, and perhaps also the impulse of Hesychast piety, which favoured the contemplation and veneration of icons, partly explain these later developments. I do not propose to go into them here but rather to pause in order to ask a question which seems to me to be of ecumenical significance. Is it not the case that in both East and West a progressive separation occurred between clergy and laity, particularly in liturgical celebrations, which is not a reflection of Christ's teaching nor of the Apostles' practice? This separation, now of long standing, did not, of course, come about in the same way in East and West. Practically speaking, however, the result in both cases was that the Eucharist became the preserve of the clergy in their sanctuary, while the laity, unworthy creatures, were kept at a distance. Their way of seeking communion with Christ was rarely by participation at the Eucharistic meal. They performed private devotions, and meditated upon the truths of faith which these devotions set forth.

It must be added that during long centuries, in the Roman and Byzantine rites at least, the laity did not particularly resent this separation. However in the West there has been a reaction, abetted by the clergy themselves, which reached considerable momentum at the time of the Second Vatican Council. I do not know whether there has been a similar reaction among Christians of the Eastern rites. If so, I hope, having observed the healthful consequences of renewal in the West, that it will also gain in momentum. Once this momentum is gained it will necessarily sweep away the classical iconostasis. This was, as I hope I have made clear in the course of this short essay, a late development in Byzantine tradition.

Presenting the faithful with a sensible representation of the divine plan, it has the disadvantage of hiding from them the intelligible mystery which is the Eucharistic celebration itself. No doubt there will always be devout Eastern Christians who would rather venerate an icon than participate actively in the Eucharist, just as there will always be devout Roman Catholics who would rather tell their beads. They will not easily accept the removal of the iconostasis from its place before the sanctuary, where it has become, falsely, the focal point of the Byzantine church, and the less easily since it is something of great spiritual beauty. However there is no room for doubt. The iconostasis bars the way towards the intelligible mystery, towards the Incarnate Logos, in whom all mankind—clergy and layfolk from East and West—will ultimately be One.

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Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby apelles » Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:36 pm

Delay for Cathedral following objection
Published: 25 April 2012 in the Longford leader


Progress on reconstructing St. Mel’s Cathedral has been stalled somewhat after an objection was lodged with An Bord Pleanála against Longford Town Council’s decision to grant permission to carry out works relating to the sub-floor and roof.


Planning permission had been granted for a new roof and sub-floor, as well as the erection of new limestone columns and pilasters to replace the original ones lost in the fire on Christmas Day 2009.

However, while planning permission was granted by Longford Town Council at the end of March, an objection to the plans for the roof and the floor was lodged with An Bord Pleanála last Friday by Liam Madden. No work can be carried out until they rule on the application, which is expected to be by August 23.

According to the Chairman of the St Mel’s Cathedral Project committee, Seamus Butler, there was no need for the objection. “We would certainly say the objection was of an imperious nature. An Taisce actually sent a letter praising the planning application, which is almost unheard of. For there to be one objection out of all the people in the country is certainly disappointing.”

Fr Tom Healy reiterated Mr Butler’s comments stating he was “incredibly disappointed” with the objection. “This is a remarkably complex project but when the guardians of heritage in this country, An Taisce, send a letter praising the application it makes the objection even more disappointing.”

Mr Butler added that the project is ahead of schedule and is confident the objection should not set the project back any time. It is hoped to proceed with an order of limestone for the columns and the pilasters after a meeting of the committee due to be held on May 1st. It is expected it will take over a year for all the stone to be ready to be erected in the Cathedral.

Tenders for the construction of the sub-floor and the roof will be advertised soon, with construction ready to begin if An Bord Pleanála rule against the objection.

Longford Town Council granted permission for a new concrete sub-floor which will be supported independently from the original structure in line with conservation principles. This sub-floor will finish 150mm below the existing floor finish to allow for a new floor build up, possibly incorporating underfloor heating and the desired new floor finish, which will be subject to a further planning application.

The design team had also got the green light for the construction of the new roof, with the major difference being the inclusion of steel trusses over timber, which were originally in place.

In their application, the design team state steel would allow for a different configuration than timber and would allow improved walkways which would benefit maintenance in the future. They also state that steel trusses could be erected quicker, lessening the exposure of the building to the elements. Mr Butler also stressed the steel would not be visible either from within or outside the building.

As a protected structure under the Planning and Development Act 2000, the rebuild of St Mel’s Cathedral will have to adhere to strict rules to protect and respect the original building.

The next stage of the reconstruction is a planning application for the interior of the building given that the green light has been given for the construction of the church organ, which caused some controversy in February when it emerged an Italian company had won the tender for its construction.

The final planning application will involve the exterior of the building and the grounds and will be submitted at a later stage.
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Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby apelles » Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:08 pm

I googled the name of the "conscientious objector" from the above article (better not mention him by name in case he tries to sue) & it appears fairly obvious to all that while he is an architect, he's also some sort of serial objector!
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Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:03 pm

It might have been easier had an effort been made by all concerend to meet whatever point the man has - after all, it might turn out to be a valid one. Does anyone know if he had engaged at an earlier phase in the planning process? Can we really rely on Longford County Council? Will An Taisce go along with the ghastly nonsense drawn up by RH for the interior?
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Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Fri Apr 27, 2012 5:47 pm

Building a Catholic Church in the 21st. Century: Tradition Observed (Part One)

by Frank Mitjans

From Antiphon (Journal of Society for Catholic Liturgy) vo. XVI, 2 (2011).

http://www.scribd.com/doc/91543760/Scan-0074
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Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Wed May 02, 2012 6:19 pm

The Krodo Altar from the Abbey of Sts Simon and Jude in Goslar dating from c. 1040


Image

Image
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Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Mon May 07, 2012 12:35 am

Cathedral renovation reveals rare 15th Century carvings

Image

Seven rare 15th Century alabaster carvings have been discovered during restoration work at a Sheffield cathedral.
The carvings were discovered in a sacristy cupboard at St. Marie's Roman Catholic Cathedral on Norfolk Street.
They depict scenes from the life of Christ, including his
arrest.
Father Chris Posluszny, dean of the cathedral, said many carvings were exported in medieval times but were destroyed during the Reformation.
"This is a rare find. To have so many doesn't often arise,"
he said.
The carvings are small - each is about the size of a piece of A4 paper - but Father Posluszny said they were very detailed.

'Beautifully carved'

He said: "There are so many figures, so beautifully carved and telling so many stories of what's in the scriptures in just one scene. The carving of Christ's arrest includes Judas' betrayal, St Peter running away, three soldiers, and a man whose ear was cut off, reaching out to be healed."

The carvings are believed to have been donated to the church when it was being built in the 1840s.
They were on the underside of an altar in the Mortuary Chapel until 1970.
"They were removed from the altar and replaced by an effigy of Father Pratt who built the church, until 1970 when they were put up for sale," explained Father Posluszny.
However, the carvings became lost after they failed to sell at auction.
"Nobody, not even the Historic Churches Committee, knew where they were," said Father Posluszny.
"When we found seven boxes in the Flower Sacristy we assumed it was just the usual junk, but when I had a look, it was the missing alabaster carvings covered in 42 years worth of dust."
The carvings have now been insured for £30,000.
Once restored, they will be displayed in the cathedral cloister.
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Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Mon May 07, 2012 11:33 pm

Consecration of the abbey church at Kerganon in Brittany

http://www.ouest-france.fr/actu/actuLoc ... ePhoto.Htm
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Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Paul Clerkin » Wed May 16, 2012 2:45 pm

Modern Irish Church Oral History Project:
http://www.modernirishchurches.com
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Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Wed May 23, 2012 11:17 pm

English Heritage has just published new guidelines on new works in historic places of worship.

The full text is available here:

http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/cont ... p-2012.pdf
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