Re: Re: reordering and destruction of irish cathedrals and churches
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Gianlorenzo, both these altar charts (or cards) are from the Gospel Side of the altar – thus they both contain the Last Gospel (John 1:1-14), read as the final act of faith in the divinity of Christ at the end of every Mass.
The work on the frames is rather fine it seems to me.
The altar cards were, as you know, three in number, one on each side of the altar and one in the middle. The middle chart was the biggest containing offertory prayers (Suscipe sancte Pater, Offerimus tibi Domine etc) as well as the all important consecration formulae (Hoc est enim corpus meum – Hic est Calix sanguinis mei…). The idea was that the priest could read these texts from right in front of him without being distracted by the missal at that vital moment – a very good idea. The charts at the extreme ends of the altar were to help him with the Latin texts when he was too far from the missal to read from it.
Typically these charts were like framed pictures, free standing and removed from the altar when Mass was not being said. What’s extraordinary about the altar of St John Nepomuk is that the text of these card has become a part of the overall piece, being etched into the silver that frames the altar. It’s a lovely thing, and thus make these “altar charts” inseperable from the altar.
I wonder if such a feature is found in any other church?