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St. Mary’s, Cortland, NY

I just never get tired of seeing this place. (Click to enlarge.)

Comments

  1. Jonathan Webb says

    I don't know why some churches don't have the tabernacle behind the alter. Being a lifelong Catholic you probably have an idea why, but to me it's mystifying.

  2. Jonathan,

    The Second Vatican Council deemed it appropriate to integrate the various and dynamic concepts of "game" and "play" into liturgical communities' approach to the sacraments. (cf. "Sacrosancti Ludi Christi" promulgated in 1966) Thus, many churches, taking advantage of the nuanced language of the Council, began a program called "Hidden Christ, Lost and Found," a game which fostered a sort of whole-faith-community-invovlement approach to liturgy. The object is to travel to a new church and be the first to find where the pastor and/or parish liturgist has hidden the tabernacle. There was usually no set time limit and most participants became so skilled that they soon took less than an hour to find the tabernacle – some paritipants even began finding it consistently in as little as a half hour! Unfortunately, there are people who actually became so obsessed with the game that it led, inadvertently, to the suppression of eucharistic adoration in most parishes in the US. (The thinking was that these gamers were "obessing" too much about the "externals" of liturgy. Weird, huh?)

    The purposeful mislplacing of the tabernacle also finds its inspiration in a little-known 1973 pastoral letter from the NCCB (National Council of Catholic Bishops – precursors to the USCCB in much the same way as the Edsel was a sort of precursor to the Pinto), "The Games of Holiness We Play," (drafted, by the way, by Bishop Charles "Chuck" N. Luck of the Diocese of Othengothensberg, Minn.) stated, "because of the dignity and wholly human approach which games and other forms of contest offer to the complete person of both sexes, parish liturgists and others in positions of authority should do all they can to widen the parameters of holiness to include the concept of "play" in all its most profound senses. Abundant inspiration can be drawn from childhood games such as 'Hide and Seek' or 'Hot Potato.' In these ways, the deeper appreciation for the humaness of Christ will be renewed in all God's children – a humaness, we might add, so very much in danger of being overwhelmed by more rubrical, standoffish and rigid elements of the liturgical tradition such as guitar/sitar playing and Balloon Sunday celebrations."

    Thus, the liturgical contest known as "Find the Tabernacle" was born.

    I hope this answers your question!

    JOB

  3. Rufus McCain says

    JOB, you need to host a regular "spirit of Vatican II" Q&A column here.

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