Wednesday, 8 February 2012

From the Chapel to the Library

So we decided that the Chapel was a little bit cold. Well very cold actually, and so have moved to the library to say Mass.

We just tried to recreate the Chapel in the library. It's funny that when you do this, that the boys, and I suppose people in general 'respect the space'. Of course they sat on the floor for the readings, but for the rest they stood or knelt. And came to the edge of the carpet, as if it were an altar rail, to receive Holy Communion.

This 'holy space' is so easy to do. I have thought about it much, and firmly believe that what we have done to our churches, removing defined spaces etc. has not brought the sacred into the world, but rather dissolved it. If I want a sugar lump, then I want a sugar lump. I do not want it dissolved in a cup of water. If we want the sacred then we want to know where it is and how to access it. We do not want 'it's everywhere around you'.

Doing some reading for the boys to prepare them for their GCSE in Religion, I was again reminded of this when looking at the presences of Christ in Holy Mass. If you are in any way interested (and believe me, I wouldn't blame you if you were not) the modern theology stresses four:

  • In the proclaimed word (readings)
  • In the Priest
  • In the assembly
  • In Holy Communion

So where is Christ? He's everywhere. What we have done (completely by accident - the law of unintended consequences) is dilute the true, real and abiding presence of God in the Blessed Sacrament. By playing up the others, we down play the most important. We have dissolved Christ into mushiness. I'm sorry  but I'm not going to run into a burning Church to save the proclaimed word!

So we in Chavagnes stand as a bulwark preserving and promoting the sacred in the midst of the profane. And we do it by building altars in libraries.
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