Wednesday, April 4, 2012

An Altar Quiz

Take this little quiz!

What season of the liturgical year - or feast, perhaps? - would you guess it is by the way this altar is presented? 

Let's see...white antependium...well, uh, no, it's really just a nice table cloth. Yellow and white flower arrangement dominating the, altar (there are also some red flowers in there, which don't show up well in the photo).

Behind the altar you see the tabernacle; can you make out the two big bouquets of flowers on either side of it?

So...what season...?

To be honest, I must say it looks more like a tastefully decorated dining room table than the Altar of the Lord. A spring luncheon, perhaps?

Hint: here's another photo from the adjoining chapel at the same location:

Again we see the nice floral arrangement...little white table cloth... Hmm. There's also a red thingy on the ambo... 

That altar would look much less like a picnic table, and would be much more imposing as an altar if it had a floor-length antependium. And never any flowers in front of it.

But anyway...have you made your guess as to the liturgical season? 

The answer (drum roll): These photos were taken just a couple of days the beginning of Holy week. Passiontide. 


This is Lent. Even in the Novus Ordo, it is the rule of the Church that "the altar should not be decorated with flowers". 

And where the heck is the PURPLE?

There is nothing in these photos that would lead one to believe they were taken during Lent.

Is it really that hard?

You know, if Mass is celebrated ad orientem the problem of making the altar nothing more than a backdrop for a floral arrangement is solved. You can't have a big floral arrangement in the place where the priest must stand to offer the sacrifice of the Mass!

Just sayin'.


  1. I would hope that this was done by some well intended but uninformed laity. It would be very sad if it was at the direction of the Pastor.



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