Re: Re: reordering and destruction of irish cathedrals – St Colmans Cathedral, Cobh

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Re: posting 251: Carlow College, Eucharist Room

Richard Hurley describes the creation of the Eucharist Room in his book Irish Church Architecture in the era of Vatican II as follows: “The nerve centre of the institute [for Pastoral Liturgy] comprised a plan of four spaces – gathering area, the Eucharist Room, the Blessed Sacrament Chapel and the Vesting Room. The gathering room was of great importance in the scheme of things. It would provide a place of welcome, a place of assembly before and after the liturgy and also a place to enjoy the hospitality of the institute. The Eucharist Room is entered directly off the gathering area along a narrow “mall” partially two storeys high and containing an open-string staircase. The Eucharist Room is spacious and light -filled; it was the great room of the house….the layout of the room is orientated towards an informal antiphonal gathering surrounding a central area focused on the altar. This was a development of the idea of the family gathering around the table. WIthin this group the chief celebrant sat at one end of the axis with the altar and the ambo placed at the other side of the altar, on axis facing up the room. The surrounding stools provide an informal seating arrangement for the assembly. Everything in the room is a shade of white – wall, floor, ceiling, light fittings and carpet…The ambience of the room was intended to provide fertile soil for the growth of spiritual freedom. The limitations of the materials used also contained the inner intention, that to radiate the Spirit of Freedom. There was no “sanctuary” in the Eucharist Room in Carlow, only an expression of ritual space and the integration of everyone who participate in it”.

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