Saturday, April 15, 2006

Photos of Saint Francis de Sales Oratory, Saint Louis, Missouri, Holy Thursday 2006

Here are photos of Saint Francis de Sales Oratory, on Holy Thursday 2006. This is the home of the Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest in Saint Louis, Missouri.

Procession starts.

Procession of the Blessed Sacrament to the Sepulcher. This was very solemn. There are no bells used during this time of year, but instead wooden clackers mark their steps with an unsettling sound.

The altar is stripped bare, and the tabernacle is empty. Mass will not be said again until after nightfall on Saturday, for the glorious feast of Easter.

Statues are shrouded during Holy Week, extending the Fast even to our senses. The organ plays few if any notes, bells are not rung, and images are covered.

Even the Evangelists are hidden on the pulpit.

Crucifixes are shrouded until Good Friday. Here we have a line for the confessional.

One of the confessionals. Confession is especially recommended during Lent. Unlike psychotherapy, Confession is guaranteed confidential, costs nothing, and is good for the soul.

Grotesques or "marmosets" show a good sense of humor in the Romanesque and Gothic styles. Saint Bernard of Clairvaux didn't like them at all, but they became very popular anyway. They are limited to the outside of churches, or (as in this case) near the front entrance, where traditionally the catechumens would gather. They symbolize sin and folly. Perhaps not coincidentally, this one peers over the end of the confessional line.

I can't help but think that this one looks like Fr. Benedict Groeschel, angry, perhaps, after reading a New York Times editorial.

The ceiling as the vault of heaven.

The sepulcher.

1 comment:

  1. Gorgeous church, great pictures! And thank you for the lesson on why the statues are shrouded.