Saturday, 8 October 2011

Saint Denis 4

(Click to enlarge) Here we see the present arrangement of the sanctuary of St Denis. Traditionalists will no doubt be pleased to see altar rails in place and, given the perverse French predilection for asymmetry in these matters the arrangement of the six tall candles behind the high altar is impressive but, sadly, all is not well- and I am not referring to the small size of the altar. Behind the altar on the step where an altar formerly stood is a row of chairs clearly in the place of honour. By contrast the tabernacle is placed over on the left hand side of the sanctuary- as if Our Lord were to take His place among the assisting clergy or altar servers. I am not joking! The tall white rectangular structure with a smaller dark panel in it directly to the left of the altar and between the red-upholstered stools is in fact the tabernacle. They have obligingly placed a red lamp before it but that is as far as it goes. Evidently, the Lord here plays second fiddle to the bishop or "presiding" celebrant! How else can one understand this?

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