We’ve been having knock down (literally) drag out (literally) sessions in the sanctuary of Holy Redeemer Catholic Church here in Andrews, NC, discussing what can be done, how things can be done – so many measurements – the steps to take, what might happen with various exigencies…
Nathan the prophet seems to have visited a number of parishioners who note that the pews and windows and doors are all good, but what about the altar of the Lord, His sanctuary? They offered, of a sudden, independent of each other and all at once, some wherewithal and expertise, complementing what another way up in upstate New York has been providing for all along.
We chased off to a rock slab reseller and I immediately gravitated toward the piece above. If you’ve ever seen the slab upon which the burnt body of the great Saint Lawrence was laid after he was burned alive, well, this is a double of it. Very appropriate. Even more, this reminds me of the slab upon which our Lord Himself was laid inside the Holy Sepulcher itself, there in the Church of the Resurrection in the Old City of Jerusalem.
We’ll see if we can make the down payment before someone else snatches it up. It’s all moving rather quickly. We’ll be having to make some crosses as well as a Sepulcher for relics of the Saints. And then it will have to consecrated. This will take much preparations. For instance, there is a cloth which goes over the newly chrismated altar, a cloth subjected to appropriate methodologies to have it do its job correctly. Then there is another cloth and finally the changeable altar cloth on top. This will all be new to me.
- “But Father George! Father George! You’re an elitist! You want nice things for Jesus, not for the poor! What kind of Missionary of Mercy are you anyway? Your (literally) Gorilla Taped altar right now is really cool. It’s speaks loudly of poverty!”
Well, not all Missionaries of Mercy are filthy liberals who hate respect for the Son of the Living God. Jesus defended the woman who poured that little bottle of ointment worth a year’s wages over Him for His burial seconds before Judas went off to betray Jesus, right? Jesus defended the integrity and honesty of Temple worship, right?
Many of the great cathedrals in these USA were built by the poorest of the poor during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Just saying. Would you begrudge Jesus’ little flock their generosity with the Lord Jesus.
Moreover, if anyone has an objection, I’ll ask this: “Do you eat off a Gorilla Taped board?” And if you did, you would be offended for our Lord, indignant for Him that His Last Supper for the Redemption of the World and the Salvation of the many might be located on Gorilla Tape. The rough cross was connected with this – My Body given for you in Sacrifice, My Blood poured out for you in Sacrifice – and they are together one event. But let the celebration of the Wedding Banquet be appropriate joyous. Those who complain about a well celebrated Liturgy are also those who dismiss the violence of the Crucifixion, who don’t offer Confessions, because, you know, there’s no such thing as sin and we don’t need a Savior anyway.
Here’s the deal: Jesus is Himself the Altar, the Priest, and the Lamb of Sacrifice. This is to honor Him. This is a virtue. It’s called Piety. It’s a virtue of Justice: giving due honor to whom due honor is due. Jesus deserves much more honor than we could even begin to give to Him. After all, He saves us! An appropriate altar honors His Sacrifice even as it speaks to us of our sin that would occasion such generosity on our behalf from the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception. Too much for some. They run away from such truths which should instead bring them great joy. Thus the bitterness.
Hah! There is NONE of that in this parish. Everyone wants to honor Jesus, and with great enthusiasm. When they hear that Jesus is going to come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire, they say: Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus!