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Weekly Roundup (September 2-8, 2023)
Repetition, marriage, and golden altars
Happy Feast of the Nativity of Our Blessed Lady!
It’s been another busy week. (Not sure when’s the last time I couldn’t say that… but I do make a point of relaxing in the evenings with a good book. My wife and I are currently reading the thrilling first-person account Hide and Seek by Xan Fielding, a British agent infiltrated into Nazi-occupied Crete to organize a spy network and help sabotage German operations. If you enjoy World War II literature, you would love this. But I digress…)
Under the title "Poets, Lovers, Children, Madmen—and Worshipers: Why We Repeat Ourselves in the Liturgy," this talk was given at Our Lady of Mt Carmel in Covington, Louisiana, on July 22, 2023. Opening:
In my talk today, I’d like to suggest some ways of thinking about repetition that may help us to appreciate its positive value, over against the assumptions that stood behind the far-reaching simplification of liturgical rites in the twentieth century. First, I will look at a symptomatic text in the Second Vatican Council; second, I will explore the psychological value of repetition; third, I will examine formal repetition in a sacred context and use the Confiteor as my case study; fourth, I will consider whether there is room for improvement in the old rite of Mass; finally, I will discuss certain temptations that arise with repetition, and thus come to my conclusion.
The great Fr. Robert McTeigue, SJ (a good Jesuit) and I did an interview on my book Treasuring the Goods of Marriage in a Throwaway Society. He did me the kindness of telling people not only to get the book but to “read it 3 times”!
Not only had Father read it, he had fantastic comments and insights all the way through the conversation. In fact, to be quite honest, his contributions are the gold nuggets, so go and listen!
The interview is available here, with show notes.
This week at NLM, I treat the reader to a photo tour of one of the most fascinating churches I’ve seen in a long time: Immaculate Conception, the Jesuit church in New Orleans. The high altar, designed by James Freret of New Orleans but fabricated in Lyons, France in 1867, won first prize in the Paris Exposition that year. The material is bronze plated in 24-karat gold, and consists of more than 600 pieces.
Check out the rest of the gallery here.
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