Portable Walls Solution to Fixed Altars in Middle?

So, what do you think? If there’s no high altar at a church, and the only altar is a fixed altar in the middle of the sanctuary, why not bring in a large, portable wall and place it in the empty space where the priest usually says a Novus Ordo Mass. This way it will be just like the priest were celebrating at a high altar against the back wall of the church. Is this doable or what? :smiley:

Well, I guess they already have Rood Screens they can put in.

Try looking up riddle curtains.

What are “riddle curtains”? :confused: I did a googe search and nothing really popped up under that name.

Then you would be walling off the Tabernacle that is on the wall. If there still is one there.

Some churches, most of them, have some room in front of the altar/cramner table. Some have the High Altar still in place with the “cramner table” erected in front of it. In that case the “table” is ignored and Mass celebrated on the high altar itself.

If there is no high altar, but tabernacle behind the cramner table on the wall and no room for the priest to celebrate facing the altar, a portable altar would be brought in, placed just outside the Sanctuary- but definitely never erecting a wall between the portable altar and the Tabernacle.

Most likely if your pastor agrees to have the TLM regularly at your parish you would be undergoing some renovations in the future, either with a fixed freestanding altar with room in front of it to celebrate the TLM (like at Our Lady of the Angels Monastery’s shrine).

Ken

[LEFT]

Originally Posted by kleary:
Then you would be walling off the Tabernacle that is on the wall. If there still is one there.

Most of the churches I’ve been to have the tabernacle off to the side of the sanctuary. The ones that do still have the tabernacle in the middle still have a high altar. Usually at the churches I’ve been to there are simply several chairs.[/LEFT]

There is no requirement for the altar to be against a wall. In fact, many rubrics of both the Pontifical and the Caeremoniale seem to presume that the altar is freestanding. But a freestanding altar should be dignified with a canopy, etc.

Riddel curtains are curtains surrounding the altar as, for example, in the picture below.

Sometimes the back curtain is replaced by a reredos or the curtains themselves may be embroidered as in this link

There is no requirement for the altar to be against a wall. In fact, many rubrics of both the traditional Pontificale and the Caeremoniale seem to presume that the altar is freestanding. But a freestanding altar should be dignified with a canopy, etc.

Riddel curtains are curtains surrounding the altar as, for example, in the picture below.

Sometimes the back curtain (known as the dorsal/dossal) is replaced by a reredos or the curtains themselves may be embroidered as in this link

Thanks for the pictures! I now know what a riddle screen is (and a dossal) :smiley:

Or your parish priest could just say the EF of the Mass versus populem as long as the altar was decorated according to the rubrics.

Also, keep in mind that before the new Mass, all Masses in St. Peter’s basilica were said at a free-standing altar ad orientum.

Originally Posted by Sure:
Also, keep in mind that before the new Mass, all Masses in St. Peter’s basilica were said at a free-standing altar ad orientum.

It seems to me, though, that it had to do with something of the church’s architecture and was an exception.

Either way, saying the EF facing the people remains a legitimate option.

Originally Posted by Sure:

Either way, saying the EF facing the people remains a legitimate option.

Ok, whatever. :slight_smile:

I probably won’t be going to EF or OF anyhow. I just have an interest because of my background.

This is all that needs to be done.

youtube.com/watch?v=oUNfbgRJOe8

Yes, one could do the TLM facing the people. Conflict would arise, though, because the altar should have the candles and the crucifix along the side where the people are.

IIRC, when the priest is ad orientem in St. Peter’s, he is facing east. During the consecration, the congregation turns around to face east as well.

I’m not condoning Cranmer tables or anything, but even the TLM rubrics [cf. *Caerimoniale Episcoporum] do not prohibit a freestanding altar, where Mass can still be offered ad orientem.

Plenty of altars in the NO can and do have candlesticks and crucifix between priest and congregation - when there’s a crucifix it often blocks part of the view. As does the priest himself when he’s celebrating ad orientem :smiley: No drama.

Originally Posted by mtro1:

IIRC, when the priest is ad orientem in St. Peter’s, he is facing east. During the consecration, the congregation turns around to face east as well.

Thanks! :slight_smile:

Decorate it according to the TLM rubrics eventhough there is no wall behind it, a canopy maybe, but as long as it follows the proper rubrics.

Pax

Instaurare omnia in Christo

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