PDA

View Full Version : Church layout question from non Catholic



Anonymous Traveler
02-01-2007, 07:28 PM
My MC and g/f attend a Catholic church service in the late sixties in Toronto. Should he describe the elements of the building and service in his understanding, Anglican, or by the correct terms.

What he calls the pulpit is called an Ambo (never knew that). Local Catholic chuch called back. A pulpit is the same for both chuches, so I may be safe there.
And does the altar always face the east?

citymouse
02-07-2007, 05:17 PM
In the Catholic tradition the altar faces east and the buliding is cruciform.
Now obviously this is not always the case. We now have churches that are round and some that are oval; much like race tracks which I find somewhat disturbing). Saying that, a round structure can have a cruciform interior.
You will also see some churches with plain glass windows. The meaning here is not that the congregation has no funds for colored glass, but rather that the oustide world may view the glory of the inside.

The most significant changes are not so much physical as ritual. In the past the priest offered a sacrifice (God the Son) to God the Father. He did this on behalf of himself and those attending Mass. This was a reinactment Jesus offering himself as a sacrifice to the Father. "Do this in rememberance of me."

These days the priest faces the people and officiates rather than offers sacfifice.






My MC and g/f attend a Catholic church service in the late sixties in Toronto. Should he describe the elements of the building and service in his understanding, Anglican, or by the correct terms.

What he calls the pulpit is called an Ambo (never knew that). Local Catholic chuch called back. A pulpit is the same for both chuches, so I may be safe there.
And does the altar always face the east?

Anonymous Traveler
02-07-2007, 05:46 PM
These days the priest faces the people and officiates rather than offers sacrifice.

I overlooked that detail, in the 60's the priest will face the alter. I will have to remember that.

On your comment on church shapes I was going to include a link to the igloo shaped church (http://www.arctic.anglican.org/) in Iqualuit on Baffin Island (click on Cathedral) I have attended many services there. I was the broadcast engineer for the consecration of the Cathedral and had the honor of meeting the Archbishop of Canterbury, I was almost in tears to discovered it had be the victim of arson several years ago. As you will see it was a most unique house of worship.

citymouse
02-07-2007, 07:36 PM
AT, The igloo church was remarkable. As I noted before, and as can be seen in the photo, the shape was round but the main aisle intersects with another just before the chancel to form a cross.

You will also find that in many Anglican traditions the priest still faces the altar in the attitude of sacrifice.

There is also a tradition in the Anglican tradition that is not used in Catholic churches and that is the office of the "Virger".
The verger carries the bishop's crosier and robes in procession. The part the verger plays in the AC and not the RC is where he walks up and down the aisles and nudges sleeping parisioners with his staff of office. Sometimes if the person doesn't wake up he gets a good crack on the head!

citymouse
02-07-2007, 07:47 PM
AT, I almost forgot, if you plan on describing the priest's vestments don't forget the Maniple. Used prior to 1967, after which its use became optional, this is a strip about 8" wide and 2 to 3 feet long. It was worn on the left forearm and was of teh same material and color as the outer vestments.
Originally it was a handkerchief carried in the left hand or thrown over the left shoulder. It symbolizes the labor and hardship of the priesthood. Too bad it's virtually never seen today.
C

AnnieColleen
02-07-2007, 07:53 PM
The most significant changes are not so much physical as ritual. In the past the priest offered a sacrifice (God the Son) to God the Father. He did this on behalf of himself and those attending Mass. This was a reinactment Jesus offering himself as a sacrifice to the Father. "Do this in rememberance of me."

These days the priest faces the people and officiates rather than offers sacfifice.

Actually he does both. The function hasn't changed, only the position.

Re the original question: depends on POV. If it actually is your main character describing the church, of course he'd use the terms he knows. If it's the narrator, I'd say there's some leeway to go either way.

citymouse
02-07-2007, 08:03 PM
[QUOTE=AnnieColleen;1108340]Actually he does both. The function hasn't changed, only the position.

AC, if you'd like to discuss this privately I'm happy to do so. This in particular is so divisive that I prefer not to get into it here.

Suffice it to say that the blessings and graces imparted in the Mass and partaking of the Sacrament is wholly dependent on the rightly formed conscience and disposition of the recipient's soul than that of the priest.
C

Anonymous Traveler
02-07-2007, 08:13 PM
Sometimes if the person doesn't wake up he gets a good crack on the head!

I got one of those last week, He knows when I'm ignoring His word.

Thanks for input. This takes place in an older mid size church in downtown Toronto in the late 60's He is Anglican but fate draws him to a Catholic church where he waits (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=53896) for the JFK assignation, an event he foresaw or experienced. He develops a friendship with the priest and he and g/f eventually marry in the RC Church. I expect to develop the conflict that their religious beliefs create.

citymouse
02-07-2007, 08:29 PM
AT, I take your MC converts to RC prior to the nuptuals!

Your story sounds like something I'd like. Over the years I studied the JFK case.
C

Anonymous Traveler
02-07-2007, 09:38 PM
AT, I take your MC converts to RC prior to the nuptials!

Nope, but that will add to the story. The development of the MC's soul and his understanding and acceptance of what has happened is the core.

He is not ever quite sure if it was a dream or he had lived a life and returned. Eventually he recognizes the bearded face that appeared in the mirror was Jesus. The struggle is to accept the unbelievable. His logic and intellect blocks the Spirit, for a while. I'm going through that myself. I keep reading the Memo daily because I still have not come to accept it's message.

I lived through JFK. I was in the Canadian Air Force and for a few short hours we thought were we were going to war that day. I have five memories in my life where I still recall many details.

I will PM you as the work progresses. It's marvelous how a simple belief can made complex.

Stephen

johnnysannie
02-07-2007, 09:41 PM
AT, I take your MC converts to RC prior to the nuptuals!

Your story sounds like something I'd like. Over the years I studied the JFK case.
C

Keep in mind that nuptials between a Catholic and a non-Catholic are different - even today and especially in the late 1960's. Some priests would only marry a non-Catholic to a Catholic outside the communion rail - a former feature in most Catholic churches that is seldom seen today. It's something to get correct to maintain plausibility.

johnnysannie
02-07-2007, 09:42 PM
Actually he does both. The function hasn't changed, only the position.
.

Exactly. That's how I - a life long cradle Catholic - see it and I lived through the changes, albeit it as a small child.

AnnieColleen
02-07-2007, 10:00 PM
Actually he does both. The function hasn't changed, only the position.

AC, if you'd like to discuss this privately I'm happy to do so. This in particular is so divisive that I prefer not to get into it here.

Suffice it to say that the blessings and graces imparted in the Mass and partaking of the Sacrament is wholly dependent on the rightly formed conscience and disposition of the recipient's soul than that of the priest.
C

Umm...no, that's a bit oversimplified. And I'm not quite sure actually how this statement relates to the previous one.

If you want to discuss by PM, that's fine; let me know.

(AT, sorry for hijacking your thread!)

Anonymous Traveler
02-07-2007, 10:09 PM
Keep in mind that nuptials between a Catholic and a non-Catholic are different - especially in the late 1960's.

And this will contribute to the story, I will have to bend my local RC Priest's ear on this one. Thank goodness I don't need a Rabbi, we have none here. Father James will be in conflict with his superiors, Victor with his Anglican mother and Kathy's father (United Church) will foot the bill.

My other wip novels suffered from lack of conflict. this should more than make up for it.

And I hope the Spirit will help me again.