Re: Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churches

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#768433
Praxiteles
Participant

@brianq wrote:

Prax,

The Cathedra is sited where it is because GIRM310 states: ‘Thus the best place for the chair is in a position facing the people at the head of the sanctuary’.

BQ

Brian!

This statement, to beging with, is not accurate. Article 310 of the Institutio Generalis Romani Missalis, aka the GIRM, talks of a “sedes” and not of a “Cathedra”. I am sure that I do not have to spell out the difference between them.

Secondly, if you look at the text of 310 carefully, you will see that it simply says “locus eius magnus congruus est versus populum in vertice presbyterii, NISI aedis structura vel ALIA adiuncta id impediant”. You will notice that the text here is not prescreptive ordering that the “sedes” be facing the people or in the “vertice presbyterii”. Rather it is indicative and merely expresses a suggestion in law qualified by further considerations (NISI) to make it clear that we are not dealing with a prescriptive act.

Thirdly, the reason for the statement that the “sedes” could face the pople in the “vertice presbyterii” is to be found in the context of the architectural development of the Roman Rite, namely the Roman Basilica. But, as the Church does not canonize any architectural style, it does not canonize this arrangement either. As an example of what we are talking about we can look at the arrangement in the Lateran Basilica. In this case, the “Cathedra” is placed on steps in the “vertice presbyterii”. The High Altar is placed opposite. The Pope descends from the Cathedra to the floor of the sanctuary and ASCENDS to the High Altar – unlike in Armagh where the Archbishp merely DESCENDS to the Altar.

Fourthly, if we are going to speak of Cathedras, in the arrangement of the Lateran Basilica the Pope is not visible from the nave when seated on the Cathedra. Surely, if the Roman Pontiff is not visible from the nave when seated on his Cathdra, there is less reason for lesser mortals to be made more visible when seated on theirs.

“310. Sedes sacerdotis celebrantis debet munus eius praesidendi coetui atque orationem dirigendi significare. Proinde locus eius magis congruus est versus ad populum in vertice presbyterii, nisi aedis structura vel alia adiuncta id impediant, ex. gr. si propter nimiam distantiam communicatio inter sacerdotem et coetum congregatum difficilis evadat, aut si tabernaculum locum habeat in media parte retro altare. Omnis autem species throni vitetur. [119] Convenit ut sedes benedicatur, antequam usui liturgico destinetur, iuxta ritum in Rituali Romano descriptum. [120]”.

The English translation reads:

The Chair for the Priest Celebrant and Other Seats
310. The chair of the priest celebrant must signify his office of presiding over the gathering and
of directing the prayer. Thus the best place for the chair is in a position facing the people at the
head of the sanctuary, unless the design of the building or other circumstances impede this: for
example, if the great distance would interfere with communication between the priest and the
gathered assembly, or if the tabernacle is in the center behind the altar. Any appearance of a
throne, however, is to be avoided.119 It is appropriate that, before being put into liturgical use, the
chair be blessed according to the rite described in the Roman Ritual.120

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