Vol. XXI, No. 6
Ecce lignum Crucis! Ecce Agnus Dei!
The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb: The Ghent Altarpiece Then and Now
“I know my sheep” – Do you know your Sheep? Mystagogy on the Lamb of God
Marriage in Question, Part II: Addressing Common Misunderstandings of the Sacrament of Matrimony
Signs of the Holy One Departments A review of Uwe News and Views — page 2 Michael Lang’s new book Letters/Readers’ Forum – page 10
by David Clayton – page 4
by Benedict Nguyen – page 7
by Christopher Carstens – page 10
by Jeremy Priest – page 9
Donors and Memorials — page 11
Adoremus Bulletin • Vol. XXI, No. 6 — March 2016
NEWS & VIEWS
Pope Francis changes Holy Thursday Mandatum Discipline Cardinal Robert Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, has communicated the Holy Father’s desire to admit a wider representation of the people of God into the washing of feet at the Mass of the Lord’s Supper. The January 6 decree, In Missa In Cena Domini, explains that the “hu-
mility and charity” of Christ, which is the meaning of the rite of washing the feet, might be better symbolized by changing the rubric about the recipients of the foot washing. The Third edition of the Roman Missal, which until now spoke of “the men [viri selecti] who have been chosen,” will henceforth read, “Those who are cho-
sen from amongst the people of God are led by the ministers….” As before, the rite of washing the feet remains optional. But when pastors choose to include it, they “may select a small group of the faithful to represent the variety and the unity of each part of the people of God. Such small groups can be made up of men
and women, and it is appropriate that they consist of people young and old, healthy and sick, clerics, consecrated men and women and laity.” A commentary accompanying the Decree, “I Have Given You an Example,” explains in greater depth the meaning, history, and current practice of the rite (see text below).
Sacred Music Symposium: For Choirs who Love to Sing Diocese of Marquette This May the City of Angels will Rita Catholic Church, Dallas, TX, Ca- you ever stood in front of a choir feelhost a symposium on sacred music. labrese is a protégé of maestro Robert ing helpless? Do you feel intimidated Implements Slated for May 28-31, Sacred Music Shaw and an internationally known sa- by Gregorian chant and polyphony— believing you don’t know where to be- “Best Practices: Work- cred music conductor and composer. gin? You should attend this symposium. Liturgical Music Symposium With opportunities for participants to ing with Amateur Church Choirs” practice what they learn, the symposium Space is limited, but if enough interest The future of liturgical music in the Diocese of Marquette, Michigan, sounds even clearer than before, thanks to Bishop John Doerfler’s January 26 instruction “Sing to the Lord, all the Earth!” Founded upon the 2013 pastoral letter of his predecessor, the now-Archbishop Alexander Sample (Archdiocese of Portland), the present instruction is, in part, a practical implementation of the Marquette diocese’s vision for liturgical music. By the end of 2020, each parish and school seeks to accomplish five objectives: 1. Learn to chant the Ordinary parts of the Mass in English that are found in the Roman Missal. These parts will be sung by the congregation some of the time throughout the year. 2. Learn to chant the Kyrie, Sanctus and Agnus Dei from the Missa Iubilate Deo. These parts will be sung by the congregation some of the time throughout the year. 3. Learn to chant the Communion Antiphon in English to a very simple tone that everyone can sing. The Communion Antiphon will be sung at every Sunday Mass. A hymn may be sung after the Communion Antiphon while the congregation is receiving the Blessed Sacrament. 4. Use a hymnal approved by the diocese to ensure the musical quality and doctrinal integrity of the Sacred Music. The hymnal will include a broad repertoire of hymns from classical to contemporary. 5. Attend annual regional workshops for parish musicians (provided by the diocesan director of sacred music) to assist in the implementation of these directives. The sacred music director will also assist music teachers in Catholic schools to implement sacred music in the school curriculum and at school Masses. Finally, the director stands at the service of parishes upon request to help implement sacred music in other ways. According to the February 19, 2016 issue of The U.P. Catholic, the Diocese of Marquette’s plan was developed after consultation with both priests and laity. “It’s all about helping to make the Mass more beautiful,” Bishop Doerfler explains. “It’s all about growing. It’s all about beauty and people are attracted to beauty. One of the key points in evangelization is doing music well.” For more information, see http://www. dioceseofmarquette.org/sacredmusic. page 2
will take place in Los Angeles at the Ramada Inn and St. Victor Catholic Church, both in West Hollywood, CA. Sponsored by the Catholic liturgical group Corpus Christi Watershed in Los Angeles and the Los Angeles area Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP), the event offers the expertise of sacred music masters Horst Buchholz and Alfred Calabrese. Other sacred music aficionados featured at the event include organist for the Los Angeles area FSSP, Meaghan King, Corpus Christi Watershed’s president Jeff Ostrowski, and Father James Fryar chaplain of the Los Angeles area FSSP. Horst is Sacred Music Director for the Archdiocese of St. Louis and Vice President of the Church Music Association of America. Choirmaster of St.
includes conferences, practicums and liturgies, including a sung high Mass in the extraordinary form and Benediction to conclude the event. Participants will sing movements from a Mass setting by Spanish composer Francisco Guerrero (1528-1599). According to the symposium’s organizer, Jeff Ostrowski, participants will have four days of hands-on lessons in the traditions and principles of sacred music. The symposium is ideal for those wishing to implement the Church’s treasury of sacred music, a treasury which is, according to the Second Vatican Council, “inestimable.” In the four-day symposium, “we will give music directors the tools they need to implement authentic sacred music in their parishes,” Ostrowski said. “Have
Book of the Chair Approved The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has approved a new liturgical book for use at the presidential chair. Excerpts from the Roman Missal: Book for Use at the Chair will, as its name suggests, contain only those texts prayed from the chair, thus shortening – and lightening – the book, a desire expressed by many priests who are assisted by young altar servers. According to the Bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship, “a typical Mass
formulary will include the Entrance Antiphon, Collect, and Prayer after Communion. Appropriate musical chants will also be included, along with material for processions and ceremonies that take place at the door of the church” (December 2015 Newsletter). Following approval of the text by the Holy See, the Secretariat of the Committee on Divine Worship will permit publishers to print and sell the book.
CONGREGATION FOR DIVINE WORSHIP AND THE DISCIPLINE OF THE SACRAMENTS
COMMENTARY CONCERNING THE DECREE IN MISSA IN CENA DOMINI I HAVE GIVEN YOU AN EXAMPLE With the decree In Missa in cena Domini the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, at the request of the Holy Father, has readjusted the rubric of the Missale Romanum regarding the washing of feet (p. 300 n. 11), variously linked down the centuries with Holy Thursday and which, from the reform of Holy Week in 1955, could also take place during the evening Mass that begins the Paschal Triduum. Illuminated by the gospel of John the rite carries a double significance: an imitation of what Christ did in the Upper Room washing the feet of the Apostles and an expression of the selfgift signified by this gesture of service. It is not by accident this is called the Mandatum, from the incipit of the antiphon which accompanied the action:
«Mandatum novum do vobis, ut diligatis invicem, sicut dilexi vos, dicit Dominus» (John 13:14). In fact the commandment to fraternal love binds all the disciples of Jesus without any distinction or exception. Already in an old ordo of the 7th century we find the following: « The Pontiff washes the feet for his chamberlains and each one [washes the feet] of the clerics in his house».* Applied differently in the various dioceses and abbeys it is also found in the Roman Pontifical of the 12th century after Vespers on Holy Thursday and in the Pontifical of the Roman Curia of the 13th century («He performs the mandatum [for] twelve subdeacons.»). The Mandatum is described as follows in the Missale Continued on Page 3
is shown, we hope to make this an annual event.” The conference begins on May 28 at 6 p.m. (although required rehearsals are not scheduled until May 29). The fee, including catered lunches, is $135. For more information or to reserve a place at the symposium, email dom. firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your phone number in all correspondence.
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Website: www.adoremus.org Adoremus Executive Committee: The Rev. Jerry Pokorsky ✝ Helen Hull Hitchcock The Rev. Joseph Fessio, SJ Contents copyright © 2016 by ADOREMUS. All rights reserved. Adoremus Bulletin (ISSN 1088-8233) is published six times a year by ADOREMUS—SOCIETY FOR THE RENEWAL OF THE SACRED LITURGY, in La Crosse, Wisconsin. ADOREMUS is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation of the State of California. Non-profit periodicals postage paid at various US mailing offices. Change service requested. ADOREMUS—SOCIETY FOR THE RENEWAL OF THE SACRED LITURGY was established in June 1995 to promote authentic reform of the Liturgy of the Roman Rite in accordance with the Second Vatican Council’s decree on the Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium. Adoremus Bulletin is sent on request to members of ADOREMUS. Suggested donation: $40 per year, US; $45 foreign.
Adoremus Bulletin • Vol. XXI, No. 6 — March 2016
Feet By Christopher Carstens Editor The expression “smells and bells” is used pejoratively by some and proudly by others. I’m in the second camp. To my way of thinking, smelling and hearing—along with touching and tasting and seeing—are indispensable human faculties without which worship is impossible. What, after all, are sacraments, but “sensible signs”? Christ has bound unseen realities—his own Christ-life—to such realities. Pope Benedict calls liturgical participants to be “more sensitive to the language of signs and gestures which, together with the word, make up the [liturgical] rite” (Sacramentum Caritatis 64; emphasis added). The liturgy puts a number of human elements before our eyes (and senses) these days. December saw the opening of a door, the Holy Door of Mercy. February featured both candles and a chair (on the 2nd and 22nd, respectively). And before March’s end we will celebrate the birthday of a chalice (natalis calicis) on Holy Thursday, adore wood, and sing of bees and stars. All very physical and worldly, and all signs and foretastes of a new heavens and a new earth. But there is one human feature that has gained headlines in many Catholic circles recently: feet. In the Gospel of John, read at the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, Jesus’ example of humility and charity is recounted. In the rite of the washing of the feet, this same gesture is demonstrated. Christ’s mandate – “To love one another, as I have loved you” (John 13:34) – gives this first day of the Triduum its name, Maunday Thursday (“maunday,” from the Latin root, mandatum, “command”).
David’s foot, by Michelangelo.
The ritual action of washing feet on this day has taken many forms through the centuries: at times in the Mass, at other times not; at times within the church building, at other times not; at times limited to clergy, at other times not. (See Archbishop Roche’s commentary, “I Have Given You an Example,” beginning on the previous page.) Most recently (that is, until Holy Thursday of this year), the Third edition of the Roman Missal contained the following rubric at the washing of the feet: “The men who have been chosen are led to the places prepared for them.” While the English word “man” or “men” can refer in some instances to both males and females (as in “mankind” or “maneating shark”), in this case it referred to males, as it translated the Latin word vir, or viri slecti, as in the “males who have been chosen.” Why is this the case? What does the selection of males symbolize? If sacramental actions are meant to be sensed, what “sensitivity” were we to bring to the washing of the feet? After all, the ordinary form of the Missal had been revised as recently as 2000: why wasn’t the change made then? What was the
Church trying to convey by reserving the washing of feet to men? One possible answer is its association with the ordained – and male – priesthood. Holy Thursday commemorates the institution of the priesthood of the new covenant. The “birthday” of this priesthood is marked in other ways on this day. At the Chrism Mass, for example, priests renew the priestly promises made at their ordinations; they concelebrate with the high priest par excellence, the bishop; they themselves kneel in the person of Christ and wash the feet of others. In past centuries, Holy Thursday witnessed the reconciliation of the Order of Penitents – another priestly act. And Holy Thursday restricts the homily to the priest, unlike on most other days when a deacon may preach. Whether these associations were accidental or coincidental or intentional, associations they were. Was one thus “insensible” by associating the male recipients of the foot-washing with Jesus’ new priests, the apostles? But now the rubric has been changed. Whereas only “selected males” were to be chosen, moving forward, those chosen come from the “entire people of God – lay, ordained ministers, married, single, religious, healthy, sick, children, young people and the elderly – and not just one category or condition” (see “Commentary”). Here, too, the same questions need to be asked: What does the rite of washing such a group symbolize? What are we to “sense”? What does it mean? The answer to these questions, at least from my first reflections, is considered along the same lines as my reflections here on the priesthood, the meaning, or at least a meaning, of the former practice of foot-washing reserved to men. The Mass of the Lord’s Supper commemorates three things: the command of brotherly (and sisterly!) love, the institution of the priesthood, and – last
but not least – the institution of the Eucharist. And where the mandate could be interpreted with some sense to the ordained priesthood, it can equally be seen (i.e., “sensed”) in relation to the institution of the Eucharist. St. John Chrysostom speaks emphatically about the obligation – we might say mandate – that the reception of the Sacrament of the Eucharist places upon us: “You have tasted the Blood of the Lord, yet you do not recognize your brother.... You dishonor this table when you do not judge worthy of sharing your food with someone judged worthy to take part in this meal.... God freed you from all your sins and invited you here, but you have not become more merciful” (in CCC 1397). Like the theme of the priesthood signified on Holy Thursday, the mandate to serve others is prevalent. In the offering of gifts of bread and wine for the Eucharist, the rubric indicates that “gifts for the poor” may also be included (a rubric unique to this Mass, the “birthday of the chalice”). In the same spirit, during the reception of Holy Communion, the Eucharist is entrusted to Deacons and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion to take to the homebound. Last, during the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament following the Mass, the faithful are encouraged to read “some part of the Gospel of St. John (chapters 13-17),” which contains the mandate to “love one another” (Paschales Solemnitatis 56). There are many ways to see liturgical rubrics, decrees, and disciplines, some more or less accurate. In the end, though, they are meant to make the mysterious also sacramental; the invisible, visible; the divine, human. Don’t lose sight of what – of Who! – is made present before the world during the washing of feet. It is Jesus Christ, the High Priest and Lowly Servant. And to miss him is to miss the point.
tained the recently reformed rite, simplifying some elements: the number «twelve» is omitted; it takes place «in loco apto»; it omits one antiphon and simplifies the others; Ubi caritas is assigned to the presentation of gifts; the concluding part is omitted (Pater noster, verses and prayer), as this formerly took place outside of the Mass. The reservation solely to «viri» however remained for mimetic value. The current change foresees that individuals may be chosen from amongst all the members of the people of God. The significance does not now relate so much to the exterior imitation of what Jesus has done, rather as to the meaning of what he has accomplished which has a universal importance, namely the giving of himself «to the end» for the salvation of the human race, his charity which embraces all people and which makes all people brothers and sisters by following his example. In fact, the exemplum that he has given to us so that we might do as he has done goes beyond the physical washing of the feet of others to embrace everything that such a gesture expresses in service of the tangible love of our neighbor. All the antiphons proposed in the Missale during the washing of feet recall and illustrate the meaning of this gesture both for those who carry it out and for those who receive it as well as for those who look on and interiorize it through the chant. The washing of feet is not obligatory in the Missa in cena Domini. It is for pastors to evaluate its desirability, according to the pastoral considerations
and circumstances which exist, in such a way that it does not become something automatic or artificial, deprived of meaning and reduced to a staged event. Nor must it become so important as to grab all the attention during the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, celebrated on «the most sacred day on which our Lord Jesus Christ was handed over for our sake» (i.e. the Communicantes of the Roman Canon for this Mass). In the directions for the homily we are reminded of the distinctiveness of this Mass which commemorates the institution of the Eucharist, of the priestly Order and of the new commandment concerning fraternal charity, the supreme law for all and towards all in the Church. It is for pastors to choose a small group of persons who are representative of the entire people of God – lay, ordained ministers, married, single, religious, healthy, sick, children, young people and the elderly – and not just one category or condition. Those chosen should offer themselves willingly. Lastly, it is for those who plan and organize the liturgical celebrations to prepare and dispose everything so that all may be helped to fruitfully participate in this moment: the anamnesis of the “new commandment” heard in the gospel which is the life of every disciple of the Lord. + Arthur Roche Archbishop Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments
I HAVE GIVEN YOU AN EXAMPLE Continued from Page 2
Romanum of Pope St. Pius V (1570): «After the stripping of the altars, at an appropriate hour, a signal having been given with a board [clapper], the clerics come together to perform the mandatum. The superior washes the feet for the inferior ones: he dries and kisses [them]». It takes place during the singing of antiphons, the last of which is Ubi caritas and is concluded by the Pater noster and a prayer which links the commandment of service with purification from sins: «Be present, O Lord, we beg, to the duty of our service: and because you deigned to wash the feet for your disciples, may you not despise the works of your hands, which you have commanded to be retained by us: so that just as here for us and by us external iniquities are washed away, thus may the internal sins of all of us be washed. Which [duty] may you yourself deign to perform, who live and reign, God, forever and ever». Enlightened by the gospel which has been heard during the morning Mass, the carrying out of this action is reserved to the clergy («conveniunt clerici») and the absence of an instruction to have “twelve” would seem to indicate that what counts isn’t just imitating what Jesus did in the Upper Room but rather putting the exemplary value of what Jesus did into practice, which is expected of all his disciples. The description of the «De Mandato seu lotione pedum» in the Caeremoniale Episcoporum of 1600 is more detailed. It mentions the custom (after Vespers or at lunchtime, in a church,
a chapter room or a suitable place) of the Bishop washing, drying and kissing the feet of “thirteen” poor people after having dressed them, fed them and given them a charitable donation. Likewise this could be done to thirteen canons, according to the local custom and wishes of the Bishop, who might choose poor people even where it is the practice that they be canons: « For it seems in this way to manifest a greater humility and charity than to wash the feet for Canons». This meaningful gesture of the washing of feet, although not applied to the entirety of the people of God and reserved to the clergy, did not exclude local customs which take into account the poor or young people (e.g. the Missale Parisiense). The Caeremoniale Episcoporum expressly prescribed the Mandatum for cathedrals and collegiate churches. With the reform of Pius XII [in 1955] which once more moved the Missa in cena Domini to the evening, the washing of feet could take place, for pastoral reasons, during the Mass, after the homily for «duodecim viros selectos», placed «in medio presbyterii vel in ipsa aula ecclesiae»; the celebrant washes and dries their feet (the kiss is no longer mentioned). This now goes beyond the rather clerical and reserved sense, taking place in the public assembly with the direction for «twelve men» which makes it more explicitly an imitative sign, almost a sacred representation, that facilitates what Jesus did and had in mind on the first Holy Thursday. The Missale Romanum of 1970 re-
*Texts within the Latin quotation marks are translations of Adoremus; Latin texts appeared in the original.
Adoremus Bulletin • Vol. XXI, No. 6 — March 2016
The Ghent Altarpiece Speaks: David Clayton reviews Magnificat’s
The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb
By David Clayton
ne of the greatest masterpieces ever painted, the Ghent Altarpiece, created in the 15th century by Flemish brothers Hubert and Jan Van Eyck, is the second most viewed work of art in the world (after Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa). And now, about 500 years later, thanks to French art historian Fabrice Hadjadj, the world has easy access to this masterpiece through his newly published book The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb. Taking its title from the official name of the Ghent masterpiece, this richly illustrated monograph is not another coffee table book. Once readers discover its treasures, the book will be in their laps more often than on the coffee table. Replete with beautifully realized photography and commentary by Hadjadj, The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb provides readers with a personal tour of this storied altar’s finer points and overall grandeur. Word and image The book’s photography alone— some of the most beautiful reproductions of the altarpiece available—is worth the price of the book. The images and Hadjadj’s words gave me a new appreciation for the beauty of the Ghent Altarpiece. With ample room in its 12-inch-by-12-inch girth, the book highlights numerous carefully chosen details of the altar (certainly enough details for this reader, who has never seen the original). The photography is particularly noteworthy for grasping the Van Eycks’ sublime skills. (Both Van Eyck brothers are credited with the work’s creation, but because Hubert died early on in the process, historians credit Jan as the altarpiece’s primary craftsman.) In addition, the book’s editors provide a removable glossy card that depicts a two-sided photographic reproduction of the whole reredos. This card also opens and closes, emulating the hinged design of the original. Yet, as sumptuous as the book is to the eye and the mind, I approached this book with more than just intellectual or aesthetic curiosity; as a Catholic artist, I wanted to understand how the style and composition of such a great work engages the worshipper during the liturgy. When the panels are closed, we
The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, by Fabrice Hadjadj. Magnificat (New York 2015), 96 pp., $39.95. see, painted largely in monochrome, white and graded tones of sepia through to black, a depiction of the Annunciation watched by a congregation of figures important to Christ—and to the Van Eycks—the prophets Zachariah and Micah, John the Baptist, John the Evangelist and two sibyls. Also making an anachronistic appearance in the scene are the Van Eycks’ Dutch patrons, Joos and Isabelle Vijd. To include one’s patrons in a work of art is a typical device for honoring those whose generos-
ity helped make a work of art possible. While the figures of the two Johns in the scene are depicted as stone statues lacking life, the doors opened onto a scene that is, in contrast, glorious and bright with color, and dominated by the two largest central panels. The lower panel contains an image from which the whole piece takes its name, the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb. In this scene, the heavenly hosts adore the Lamb of God—Christ—standing ‘as if slain’ (as it is cryptically described by the Book of Revelation (5:6)). Above this scene is the figure of God enthroned who looks down, blessing us with his right hand. There is some ambiguity as to whether this figure is intended to be the Son or the Father, a detail that I will discuss later. This image of God is flanked on the left by Our Lady, as Queen of Heaven, and in contrast to
the monochrome rendering of her in the altar’s Annunciation scene, she is painted here in gorgeous blue. On the right of the enthroned figure of God is John the Baptist, now painted in vivid apple-green robes. On each upper extreme of the painting, Adam stands on the left and Eve on the right, looking inwards at the redemptive act which reversed the destructive results of their own disobedience and exile from Eden. The Van Eycks depict our first parents after the Fall, hiding their full nudity with hands and fig leaves in deep shadow. In accordance with tradition, Adam and Eve are not yet redeemed, unlike the saints in the scene, who emit a saintly light with minimal shadow cast around them. The Van Eycks’ manipulation of contrasting shadow, light and color conforms to the tradition in which shadow represents the presence of evil and suffering in a fallen world, and light represents “overcoming the darkness.” Also, the lack of vegetation and life in the image when the panels are closed points to a time prior to the historical life, death and resurrection of Christ. This wasteland of sin is contrasted with the lush garden of Paradise restored in the interior image (when the panels are opened) with plants in full bloom. Comment and response The commentary in the book has good, clearly presented information about the content of the painting. Hadjadj systematically goes through the piece, panel by panel, so that all the figures are identified, and each inscription is translated and explained. We are told the prophesies of the prophets and of the sibyls (pagan figures who represent the Gentiles; their prophesies in classical Roman literature were seen by the Church Fathers as anticipating the coming of the Messiah). The commentary explains the strongly Eucharistic themes of the altar. Most obviously, the figure of the Baptist evokes his words, “Behold the Lamb of God,” in a Eucharistic context. Nevertheless, Hadjadj could have placed even greater emphasis on some more broadly liturgical aspects of the masterpiece. Liturgical art is not intended primarily as decoration or even to teach us about the underlying theology in the liturgy, although it does fulfill these functions. Rather, liturgical art is an integral part of the liturgy itself, revealing those aspects of the ritual that we cannot immediately perceive. For example, when the panels of this work are opened we see the heavenly hosts who join us here on earth, in reality, through the sacred liturgy in perpetual worship of God. At that moment, art assists our temporal participation in heaven’s eternal reality. Father and Son Despite its title, the Ghent altarpiece is not only about the adoration of the Lamb, but also about the worship of the Father, through the Son—the Lamb of God—in the Spirit. When we worship God in the liturgy we are drawn into the mystery of the Trinity. The altarpiece
Photo: Wikimedia Commons God the Father or God the Son? The Almighty.
Continued on Page 5
Adoremus Bulletin • Vol. XXI, No. 6 — March 2016
The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, lower, center section of opened altarpiece. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Continued from Page 4 reinforces this point. This focus on God the Father explains also the ambiguous depiction of God I mentioned earlier. As Hadjadj explains, in some respects the figure of God has the characteristics of the Son—his youth for one thing—and in other respects, the figure has attributes generally associated with the symbolism of God the Father, such as his attire and crown. Upon further consideration, this ambiguity seems intentional. It appears to be a depiction of the Father seen through our understanding of the Son. Perhaps we are meant to take the figure as both Father and Son at once. Other things in the painting point to the Trinitarian mystery. For instance, the sun is rising in the east above the horizon, which is the symbol of the risen Christ—Christ in glory. But the viewer only sees half of the sun. Its upper half is replaced by that curiously ambiguous image of God. Perhaps it is the Son enthroned, the “visible image of the invisible God.” Through Christ, the Ghent piece seems to say, we see the Father. But further details of that fiery semicircle also reward study. Within the image of the rising sun there is a dove, which represents the Holy Spirit. So, not only do we see the Father, through the Son, but we also see him in the Spirit. To emphasize this point, we see rays of light, lines of gold leaf emanating from the Spirit that touch all of those who are gathered. We who participate in the earthly liturgy are part of the mystical Body of Christ and, like the adoring saints and angels in the painting, are touched by the uncreated light of divinity.
Interactive art At the time the Van Eycks were working, how would congregations have engaged with this painting in the liturgy itself? The Ghent altarpiece is a reredos, a painting or program of images installed behind the altar. Accord-
ing to some liturgical historians, the reredos developed in the Roman Rite in the Middle Ages because of the growing liturgical emphasis on the visible elevation of the host and chalice by the priest. As a backdrop to this event, the reredos is intended to draw our attention to the elevation and to increase our understanding of what is happening. Therefore, an artist who paints a reredos should be aware of two things. First, at this critical point in the Mass, the images behind the visible elevated host should illuminate the fact that Christ is really present with us. Second, the portion of the reredos which serves as backdrop for the elevated host ought to allow us to see the small white circular wafer in clear relief. Hadjadj does not tell us what we would see at the point of elevation if we were in the congregation gathered before the Ghent altar. Which part of the Ghent image is designed to serve as a backdrop for the host? Is it designed, for example, to be contrasted with the green of the foliage or with the effusive red that colors the altar’s face? I like to think that the Van Eycks designed their altar so that the elevated host appears directly in front of the rising sun, straddling the conjunction of the two panels, the one featuring the sacrificial Lamb and the other presenting the glorified Christ-cum-God the Father. It is exciting to think that at the point of elevation the congregation would see the golden rays of the semisun as if they were emanating from the host itself. Because the reredos is no longer in its original location but in a side chapel and no longer services the liturgy, we do not know exactly what worshippers would have seen. We also have no information about when the reredos panels would have been opened or closed in the course of ordinary use. In the Middle Ages, churches commonly displayed monochrome images during the penitential seasons of Advent and Lent, and brightly colored panels for Easter
and the rest of the year. In the cathedral in Ghent that housed the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, during these periods prior to Christmas and Easter, the panels would have been closed so that congregations saw only the Annunciation scene. What the congregation saw, then, would be doubly appropriate because just as the doors’ staid colors serve as prelude to the celebratory colors of the altar’s interior, so too Advent and Lent anticipate Christ’s coming. The biblical scene that inaugurated the Incarnation is a fitting way to enhance this anticipation. Nevertheless, without precise information, it is difficult to say how the painting helped those attending Mass relate to the liturgy’s celebration. Hadjadj is puzzled that the Ghent altar’s scheme contains no image of the crucifixion. But since this reredos was very likely not the only image in the church, it was probably painted to be seen in relation to all other images that were present – including that of a crucifixion elsewhere in the cathedral. During the Middle Ages, altar rails were customarily expanded upwards into a chancel or “rood” screen—which consisted of transparent tracery and was often carved in wood. This screen would often be surmounted by a sculptural representation of the crucifixion (the word “rood” is an old English word for cross). If there was something similar in the Ghent cathedral, then the congregation would have been able to see all three: the Lamb, the enthroned figure of God and the crucifixion simultaneously. After the Council of Trent, the call to make the celebration of the Mass more visible to the faithful resulted in many chancel screens being removed (although in fact they weren’t condemned explicitly). I believe Ghent underwent this same sort of revision. Art and time According to most art historians, the Van Eycks’ painting style is described as part of the “Northern Renaissance.” Whatever we call their style, it is to my mind more a culmination of the Gothic that preceded the Northern Renaissance
than it is an anticipation of the High Renaissance that followed this interim period of art. Certainly, like the Renaissance style, it is highly naturalistic. But this increased interest in natural appearances and curiosity about the natural world did not begin with the Renaissance or with the Van Eycks. More than two hundred years prior, the newly rediscovered philosophy of Aristotle, among other things, inspired men to look anew at the natural world. What links the Van Eycks to the Gothic stylistically is the sense of emotional distance between the figure and the observer in their work. The whole Gothic movement has this same sense of emotional distance as the the iconographic styles that preceded them. Although sometimes we do observe some emotion in the figures, these emotions do not engage us directly; we are still in some way detached, observing from a distance. In capturing the dynamic of the observer’s interaction with the image, the beauty of the painting draws us in and we want to engage, but we cannot because that distance is inherent within the composition and style. It is there even if we have our noses pressed against the panel. Our desire to be part of what we see then takes our attention beyond the painting to the reality that it portrays, which in the Ghent altarpiece is nothing less than heaven itself. The Van Eycks’ painting first pulls us in and then it sends us up to heaven. This dynamic, paralleling the action of prayer, is built into the style of the painting and is part of what makes the fruit of the artist’s skills stylistically appropriate for the liturgy. In his commentary Hadjadj refers to this Gothic connection but also compares this 15th century work to that of 20th century artists such as Barnett Newman, Wassily Kandinsky and Mark Rothko. Such comparisons are unconvincing—there is little or no correspondence in the working methods, style, content or worldview between these artists and the Van Eycks. Continued on Page 6
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Continued from Page 5 Every artist needs to know that truth is communicated through style as much as it is through content. Therefore, any representation of man must indicate both the visible and the invisible aspects of man—his body and his soul. Furthermore, a Christian artist must paint man so that he is recognizably human—the image must look like a person. At the same time the artist must indicate invisible truths (the soul, holiness, heaven, etc.) by deviating from a strict adherence to physical appearances. Through such a controlled partial abstraction of the concrete, the artist reveals a fuller truth about the human person. How an artist executes this abstraction allows us to recognize an artist’s characteristic style.
Timeless style The process of such a style can be executed with greater and lesser degrees of success. Pope Benedict XVI describes the three authentic liturgical traditions—iconographic, Gothic and Baroque— as communicating this balance of physical naturalism and spiritual abstraction well. Good Christian art is always a controlled balance between the representation of the physical appearances, and partial abstraction by which, symbolically, the soul is revealed. (Any artists or lovers of art who are interested in knowing more about this process and how Christian artists have accomplished it in the past should read my book, The Way of Beauty.) This artistic process is done badly by swinging too far in one direction or the other. Either the artist renders an excessive naturalism on the one hand—too much body, so to speak, and not enough soul—or on the other hand the artist neglects appearances, leading to a grave inhuman abstraction—that is, a distortion of nature, human or otherwise. The 20th century artists have a worldview that is governed by a dualism in which the spiritual aspects of man are exaggerated at the expense of the physical. These modern artists were not reflecting a Christian anthropology, and they knew it—the explicit aim of abstract expressionists such as Newman and Rothko was to represent man as pure disembodied spirit. The corollary to this is the style known as photorealism in which there is total neglect of the spiritual and only the material aspects of man are considered and represented. page 6
While there is always room for new and fresh art, no matter what style, Christian art must reflect this balance between body and soul. Pius XII said as much in Mediator Dei (195): “Modern art should be given free scope in the due and reverent service of the Church and the sacred rites, provided that they preserve a correct balance between styles tending neither to extreme realism nor to excessive ‘symbolism,’ and that the needs of the Christian community are taken into consideration rather than the particular taste or talent of the individual artist.” As far as our understanding of the Ghent altarpiece is concerned, Van Eyck painted in the Gothic style, which means his work was both naturalistic and also incorporated a symbolic element. While the surface of each object he paints is represented in exquisite and minute detail, the overall form of what he paints, the substrate to which all that detail is fused, is appropriately stylized according to Gothic sensibilities so as to imbue the subject with a sense of the sacred. One of these Gothic aspects is compositional—that portrayal of the figures in the middle distance (already described above), which creates a particular dynamic of interaction with the observer, especially in the context of prayer. Figuring the soul Another Gothic aspect is found in the form of the figures. In many ways the Gothic is a naturalized form of the iconographic tradition that began in the early Church. This gradual increase in the naturalism of painted figures follows from the late Romanesque/early Gothic art of the 13th century (as in the illumination from the Westminster Psalter), through later Gothic art (such as the work of Duccio), and culminates in the work of such Flemish artists as the Van Eycks. Even today, what is true and good radiates with glory from the Van Eycks’ work. When we perceive this quality in art, or anything else for that matter, we call it beautiful. And that beauty is irresistible. This is the message of John Paul II’s Letter to Artists and the numerous writing about the via pulchritudinis— the Way of Beauty—by Benedict XVI. Thus, the Van Eycks can teach artists, even today, that if people are not climbing over each other eager to see an artist’s work, the reason is simple. It is not beautiful enough. For proof of this truth, I suggest we need look no further than the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb.
Altarpiece opened. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Altarpiece closed. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Hundreds of years after it was painted, this altarpiece is still the second most viewed painting in history. When it comes to beauty, modern man has voted with his feet—or to be more precise, with his eyes and his mind. David Clayton is the newly appointed Provostof Pontifex University, the Catholic online education provider currently at pilot stage; he is a visiting fellow of Thomas More College of Liberal Arts in Merrimack, NH; and author of the book The Way of Beauty published by Angelico Press in 2015. Magnificat’s The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb costs $39.95 and can be purchased through www. magnificat.com.
Adoremus Bulletin • Vol. XXI, No. 6 — March 2016
Marriage Law Revisited — Part II By Benedict Nguyen, M.T.S., J.D./J.C.L., D.Min (ABD) Editor’s Note: This article is the second of two parts on the canonical components of marriage law. See the January issue at Adoremus.org to read Part I.
What is an “annulment”? First, there is no such term as “annulment” appearing in the official documents of the Church on the matter. It is an unfortunate popular term that has brought confusion to what is really happening. The more precise term is a “declaration of nullity,” that is, an official declaration by the appropriate authority in the Church that the act of marrying between a specific man and woman was an invalid act of marrying due to a lack or defect regarding the required capacity, consent, or (for Catholic marriages) canonical form necessary to establish marriage. It is important to keep in mind that the process of investigation has one and only one goal – to determine whether the act of marrying was valid or not. Note that it is not for determining sacramentality (see Part I), nor is it to assess fault, nor is it an instrument to be used for the purpose of healing or reconciliation with the Church. While these can be elements that surface during the process, the sole purpose is to see if it is possible to arrive at moral certainty (cf. canon 1608) that the required capacity, consent, or canonical form was lacking or defective in the act of marrying. Where the judge(s) can arrive at moral certainty for this, a declaration is to be issued. Where it is not possible, regardless of how one may feel about the parties or their situations, the presumption of the validity of the marriage must be upheld (cf. canon 1060).
Wikipedia Commons Saints Louis and Zélie Martin, parents of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, were canonized by Pope Francis on October 18, 2015, during the Synod on the Family. The couple lived out their heroic virtues through their marriage which, despite challenges, remained a touchstone of grace throughout their lives.
Thus, the procedure is a fact-finding procedure and not an adversarial one. While some have tried to char-
acterize the declaration of nullity procedure as an expression of “mercy,” it can only be an instrument of mercy insofar as it is based on truth. Where this is forgotten, whether by those outside or inside the Church, sometimes even by canonists or those who work in Matrimonial Tribunals, the result is confusion and frustration and the temptation to see the Church’s procedure as simply “Catholic divorce.” It remains to be seen whether the recent changes to the declaration of nullity procedures will assist in the recovery of a proper understanding of the Church’s process or add to its misunderstanding. What makes a marriage valid or invalid? There are two categories of things that are required to make any act of marrying valid – namely, the parties must have the requisite capacity to enter into marriage and the parties must exchange the requisite consent. For Catholic marriages, a third requirement of marrying according to canonical form is also required. Each of these requirements have certain specific, necessary elements to them that must be present. According to canon 10, the elements that affect validity are expressly established in the CIC in order to leave no doubt as to which elements affect validity. Unfortunately, many see marriage preparation and pre-marital paperwork as “hoops” to jumped through, not realizing that these are designed to assure that the elements of capacity, consent, canonical form, and other pastoral issues are properly met so that there can be a valid, licit, and fruitful celebration of marriage by the parties (cf. canon 1066). What are the elements of “capacity” that can impede a valid act of marrying?
AB/Denis McNamara From the window of St. Gianna Beretta Molla at Mundelein Seminary’s St. John Paul II Chapel.
In order to marry validly, a person must have the proper capacity to marry. “Diriment impediments” are impediments that render a person unqualified to contract marriage validly (canon 1073). An exhaustive list of these is found in canons 1083-1094, which also contain more specific explanations of each of them and their invalidating elements. The specific diriment impediments that make a person lack the capacity to marry validly are: insufficient age, impotence (note that “sterility” is not an impediment), prior bond (currently already married), disparity of worship (a baptized Catholic cannot marry a non-baptized person), holy orders, public perpetual vow of chastity in a religious institute, abduction, crime (killing or cooperation in the killing of a spouse in order to marry), consanguinity (forbidding marriage between family members in the direct Continued to Page 8
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Catholic weddings are celebrated in Catholic Churches. St. Anthony Catholic Church, Padua, Ohio. Wikipedia Commons
Continued from Page 7
line of descent or up to and including first cousins in the collateral line of relations), affinity (in-laws) in the direct line, public propriety (notorious concubinage), adoption, and, prior to the 1983 CIC, formal spiritual relationship between the parties such as a godparent and godchild. (Spiritual relationship is still an impediment for Eastern Rite Catholics, cf. Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches (CCEC), canon 811). Note that four of these, because they are considered to be of the natural law of marriage, apply to all persons, whether a baptized Catholic or not, and cannot be dispensed (canon 86). These include: being below the age of reason, impotence, prior bond, and certain degrees of consanguinity (e.g. a parent can never be dispensed to marry a child). All the other diriment impediments, because they are ecclesiastical laws issued out of the pastoral prudence of the Church, can be dispensed in a particular case by the discretion of the proper ecclesiastical authority under the conditions of canons 85-87. That is why, for example, a Catholic who wishes to marry a non-baptized person – normally invalid under the diriment impediment of disparity of worship (canon 1086) – must obtain a dispensation by the proper ecclesiastical authority in order to marry validly, since this impediment is of ecclesiastical and not natural law. Contrarily, since it is of the natural law of marriage that marriage involves only one man and one woman, no ecclesiastical authority can ever dispense a person who is already married to marry an additional other person (prior bond, cf. canons 1085 and 86). In the same way, no authority can ever dispense someone to marry another person of the same sex. page 8
What are the elements of “consent” that can impede a valid act of marrying?
According to the natural law of marriage, consent by the parties is the act by which marriage is established (canon 1057). As in capacity, there are elements that can impede valid consent. Found in canons 1095-1103, these are: lack of sufficient use of reason, possessing a grave defect of discretion of judgment concerning matrimonial rights and duties (i.e., a psychic (commonly referred to as “mental”) defect rendering a person incapable to discern or choose marriage), psychic inability to assume the obligations of marriage, ignorance of certain essential elements of marriage (as listed in canon 1096), error of person, error of quality of person principally intended, error of law determining the will, dolus (“trickery”), total simulation of the marriage consent, partial simulation of marriage consent (i.e., having an active intention against children, fidelity, permanence, or the good of the spouse in this particular marriage), marrying under condition, force, or grave fear. Like diriment impediments, each of these has various requirements that go with them in order to determine if that certain defect of consent is present. Because consent is considered to be of the natural law of marriage, these apply to all persons, whether Catholic or not. Consent cannot be dispensed. What are the elements of “canonical form” that can impede a valid act of marrying? Since the time of the Council of Trent, the Church has also required that, for validity, all Latin Catholic marriages must be done according to “canonical form.” (Eastern Catholic canon law contains slightly different require-
ments for canonical form, cf. CCEC, canon 828ff). While there used to be a canonical exception for those who left the Church by a formal act, numerous difficulties encountered over the years in assessing what exactly constituted a sufficient, formal act of defection from the Church led Pope Benedict XVI in October of 2009 to declare in “Omnium in mentem” that canonical form binds all Catholics regardless of whether one has left the Church or not – i.e., once a Catholic, a person is always bound to marry according to canonical form, regardless. (Canon 1127 addresses the special case of a Catholic marrying a non-Catholic party of an Eastern Rite). Latin Catholic canonical form requires that a Latin Catholic marry in the active presence of a validly deputed Catholic minister (priest or deacon) with faculty or permission to do so, who actively asks for and receives the consent of the parties in the name of the Church, and in the presence of two witnesses (cf. canons 1108 and 1116). The Rite of Marriage is the liturgical expression of the exchange of consent and contains within it the elements to manifest the consent of the parties and the canonical form of the Church (cf. canons 1119-1120). While some notable canon lawyers have speculated on whether the time has come to drop the requirement of Catholics marrying according to canonical form, the ecclesiastical law of nearly half a millenium requiring Catholics to marry according to canonical form remains for validity since the Church still sees it as a serious pastoral advantage to involve the pastoral care and representation of the wider Church in the marriage of her members. In addition, sacramental marriage is a liturgical act and therefore it is appropriate that it be celebrated in the public liturgy of the Church. These and other reasons are cited in CCC 1631. Nevertheless, under certain serious circumstances, canonical form can be dispensed (canons 1127 §§2-3 and 1079) such as, for example, situations involving possible animosity from extended, non-Catholic family members. What about other elements, such as the place of the marriage celebration? While marrying according to canonical form affects the validity of marriage, the place of where the marriage is celebrated is not part of canonical form and thus does not affect the validity of marriage. Nevertheless, because the place of marriage is incredibly important to the liceity of the celebration of marriage, the CIC explicitly regulates where marriages can take place (canons 1118-1120). The place of marriage serves as an important reminder that marriage is not simply a personal endeavor but rather is a public institution that impacts the well-being of both human and Christian society (cf. CCC 1603; GS 47 §1), and, in many cases, is also a sacrament which by its nature is public (cf. CCC 1069-1071, 1134, 1140). It should be noted that the popular phrase “getting married in the Church” only confuses the issue of canonical form and marrying in a Catholic church building or chapel (place of marriage). Because of this equivocal use of the term “church,” the use of this popular phrase should be avoided. More appropriately phrased, what is meant is “getting married validly according to canonical form” or “getting married validly according to the laws of the Church.”
What happens when someone gets a marriage “blessed” in the Church? Having a marriage “blessed” in the Church is also another unfortunate popular term that only confuses what is truly going on. What is happening is a “convalidation” (cf. canons 11561160). Sometimes it’s the case that an act of marrying was invalid due to an impediment that ceases or due to a lack or defect of canonical form. Though an exchange of consent was attempted – the couple attempted to marry – nonetheless, the act of marrying was invalid. In most cases, it is necessary that the exchange of consent now be done again according to canonical form in order for the act of marrying to be now a valid one. In this sense, it is contracting marriage anew (cf. canon 1160). Since it is to be done according to canonical form, the Rite of Marriage is used. What is a “radical sanation”? In certain circumstances, a marriage invalid due to an invalid act of marrying can be granted a “radical sanation,” that is, a convalidation without the requirement of the renewal of consent (canons 1161-1165). The competent authority to grant this is usually the diocesan bishop (canon 1165 §2) who has the discretion to decide if a regular “convalidation” cannot be done due to some serious reason. Various other conditions must be present as listed in canons 1162-1163 such as the absence of any natural law impediments. Serious reasons for a diocesan bishop to grant a radical sanation could include situations where a nonCatholic party refuses to go through the convalidation ceremony, refuses to renew their consent, or harbors animosity towards the Catholic Church. A radical sanation, if granted, includes a dispensation of any other dispensable impediments and has retroactive canonical effects. Conclusion The Church’s law on marriage, both canonical and liturgical, are products of centuries of her lived, pastoral experience. Quite contrary to the “pharisaical” norms that obscure the beauty of marriage and go soft on it in a supposed pastoral sensitivity that runs against the law of God (cf. Mt 19:1-9), the Church’s matrimonial laws carry within them a wisdom developed over the ages. This wisdom seeks to protect the sanctity of marriage and to let its sublime mystery shine as a witness to the world. Oftentimes, the Church’s laws on marriage gently yet firmly challenge cultural drifts that have resulted from the fallen state of humanity, felt keenly in the conjugal relationship between man and woman. The Christian faithful in the Body of Christ, the Church, are especially called to witness to this great mystery of marriage. By recovering a much-needed clarity of understanding of the Church’s teachings and laws on marriage, those in the Body of Christ, especially those called to minister to marriage and family life, can greatly help to preserve the sanctity of marriage, defend its validity, and cultivate its growth for the good of the family, the Church, and the world. Benedict Nguyen is a canon and civil lawyer and serves as the Canonical Counsel & Theological Adviser for the Diocese of Corpus Christi (Texas). He also serves as an adjunct professor for the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation.
Adoremus Bulletin • Vol. XXI, No. 6 — March 2016
The power of symbol and ritual reconsidered
A review of Uwe Michael Lang’s Signs of the Holy One By Jeremy Priest Signs of the Holy One, by Uwe Michael Lang. Ignatius Press (San Francisco 2015), 180 pp., $17.95. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then how much is a symbol worth? Father Uwe Michael Lang seeks to answer this question – among others – in his reflections in Signs of the Holy One. The book is an expansive meditation on the assertion that the “‘non-verbal symbols’” in the Church’s liturgy are “more significant than language itself.” Signs of the Holy One is certainly a fitting sequel to his last offering, The Voice of the Church at Prayer (Ignatius, 2012), where Lang focused on issues surrounding the intersection of language and liturgy. Worship and beauty Signs focuses on two basic sets of questions that arise from a couple observations: Firstly, he notes, the Church’s solemn public worship speaks through a variety of ‘languages’ other than language in the literal sense” (9); secondly, the discussion of beauty “in the context of modernity…has been reduced to a subjective judgment,” he writes, particularly beauty’s application to the languages of art and architecture. These observations lead Lang to explore questions regarding the nature of “the attribute ‘sacred’” (Chapter 1); “what makes the liturgy sacred” (Chapter 2); how the “sacred” is embodied in Church architecture (Chapter 3); how the concept of beauty can be established theologically (Chapter 4); how the sacrality of Church music can lead us out of the present crisis (Chapter 5); and finally how the establishment of Summorum Pontificum can be a path of real liturgical renewal (Epilogue). The notion of the sacred has enormous importance for Christianity. Indeed, if the sense of the sacred is lost in society “‘the hand with which man is able to grasp what is authentically Christian threatens to wither’” (17, quoting Josef Pieper). In Chapter 1, Lang begins by using the tools of social anthropology and ritual studies to understand the notion of the sacred and how it works in relation to symbol and ritual. While reviewing the contributions of such students of ritual as Emile Durkheim, Rudolph Otto, Mircea Eliade, Arnold van Gennep, and Clifford James Geertz, Lang sides with the work of a pioneer of ritual studies, Victor Turner. Quoting Turner, Lang shows the realm of the sacred is the “liminal,” the actuality of “‘being-on-a-threshold,’ where the participants ‘cease to be bounded by the secular structures of their own age and confront eternity which is equidistant from all ages’” (37). Crossing this threshold opens the way into a ritual world ‘“of symbols and ideas’” where “even persons who are profoundly separated from one another in the ordinary world, ‘cooperate closely’” and transcend ‘the contradictions and conflicts inherent in the mundane social system’” (37-38). For Turner, the ritual world “of symbols and ideas” functions as an exemplar where the real cosmic order encountered in the liminal world or the ritual “allows its participants to integrate their experience of the human condition into” their everyday lives (38). In this way, liminality has its own “time and space,” which are set apart from the everyday. These forms may seem “archaic,” or even obsolete, but can (because they do not come from the ordinary), create a sacred world in which the everyday world is impacted.
Sacred Liturgy Lang takes these anthropological insights concerning ritual, symbol, and the sacred into Chapter 2, asking “What makes the liturgy sacred?” Lang begins by questioning the pervasive view of theologians Karl Rahner and Edward Schillebeeckx who call the very concept of “sacred” into question. In their “vision the whole created world is regarded as already endowed with or permeated by divine grace” (44), and the nature-grace distinction is blurred by making categorical revelation merely an explication of what is already in man. So, for Rahner, “the sacraments constitute the manifestation of the holiness and the redeemed state of the secular dimension of human life and of the world.” Such signs are merely visible indicators that “this entire world belongs to God” already (45). Thus, Sacraments are not understood as “causes of grace extra nos but, rather as visible manifestations of the inner event of grace that is already taking place in man and in the world and is not necessarily linked with Christian revelation” (46). In responding to Rahner’s and Schillebeeckx’s critiques, Lang notes that “sacredness” is always understood to be “derived from the liturgy, which is the presence and action of Christ in his Mystical Body” (56, cf. SC 7). Lang’s response hinges on the notion of sacramentality and the distinction Ratzinger makes between the “already” and the “not yet”: “This is the time of the Church, which is an intermediate state between ‘already’ and ‘not yet.’ In this state, the ‘empirical conditions of life in this world are still in force,’ and for this reason the distinction between the sacred and the quotidian still hold, even if this distinction is not conceived of as an absolute separation” (61). Expressed in the Church’s use of elements to give solemnitas to ritual actions that “are distinguished by a stupendous humility and simplicity” (58), the sacramentality of the liturgy, shows forth the liminal reality of the sacraments that effect “a change or transformation in those who participate in” them (23): what is visible is clothed in glory to point toward the invisible. Building holiness If sacramentality points the way to the sacred in the liturgy, Chapter 3 asks how this “renewed conception of the sacred can be translated into the design and construction of buildings dedicated to the liturgy” (71). After founding the ontology of the church building upon “Christ’s Body, in both its ecclesiological and its Eucharistic dimension” (81), Lang offers four “linguistic” principles of architectural language that help to communicate a sense of the sacred: verticality, orientation, thresholds, and the intrinsic connection between art and architecture. Lang summarizes the power of the first two principles: “The orientation of liturgical space, combined with the first principle of verticality, reaches beyond the visible altar toward eschatological fulfillment, which is anticipated in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist as a participation in the heavenly liturgy and a pledge of future glory in the presence of the living God. The cosmic symbolism of facing east also recalls that the liturgy ‘represents more than the coming together of a more or less large circle of people: the liturgy is celebrated in the expanse of the cosmos, encompassing creation and history at the same time’ and so reminds us ‘that the Redeemer to whom we pray is also the Creator.’” (87) The third principle is the need to not merely have entry ways or doors, but
to have real “thresholds.” Lang names two such thresholds. The first, the entrance of the church, is not merely an organized hole through which people enter the building, but rather a portal through which people, by an act of faith, cross into the Lord’s House. The second threshold is between the nave and the sanctuary, where heaven and earth meet. In establishing the fourth principle. Lang sees the intrinsic connection between sacred art and architecture. Since “God has acted in history and entered into our sensible world,” beautiful images, “in which the mystery of the invisible God becomes visible, are an essential part of Christian worship. . . . Iconoclasm is not a Christian option” (89, quoting Ratzinger). These images are essentially figurative without being purely naturalistic, nor being pure abstractions. Modern questions In Chapter 4, Lang gives a theological response to modernity regarding the concept of sacred art. Of note here is Lang’s commentary on SC 123’s liberty for a variety of forms. Rather than the Church’s rich variety of styles being a license for an artistic free-for-all, the creativity of forms given in SC 123 has, Lang argues, “always existed within certain coordinates” (110). These coordinates, Lang proposes, can be located in Pius XII’s assertion that new forms should be capable of joining their voices to the already existing “wonderful choir of praise” (MD 195). Thus, a “hermeneutic of continuity” can be discerned not only between Pius XII and Vatican II, but more precisely between the sacred art and architecture that went before and that which is presently being produced. Lang contextualizes this continuity again by citing the 1917 Code of Canon Law, where it “stipulated that Ordinaries, that is, above all diocesan bishops, should take care that, when a new church had to be built or an existing one had to be renovated, ‘the forms received from Christian tradition and the laws of sacred art are preserved’” (114, CIC 1164§1). The artistic tradition of East and West makes clear that any “renewal of the Church’s architectural and artistic expressions must retain visible continuity with those that have been received” (116). Sounds of music Offering a “brief historical overview,” Chapter 5 shows how “the contemporary problems concerning sacred music are not new” (15). Lang gives no quarter to the area of sacred music, describing the contemporary situation as a choice between two millstones (functionalism unqualified and a functionalism of accommodation) threatening to grind up the sacred liturgy into powder. After an historical overview of how these issues have plagued the Church over the centuries and the ways in which Joseph Ratzinger has contributed to the postconciliar discussion (both as theologian and then as pope), Lang offers several practical considerations that may help negotiate a path between these millstones. Of them, the most salient is his lament regarding the “widespread replacement of the Proper chants of the Roman Mass with other ‘apt’ or ‘congruous’ forms of music, as permitted by the General Instruction of the Roman Missal” (148). While these other options are certainly permissible, “music is often of low quality, influenced by pop culture, and is hardly appropriate for the sacred liturgy” (148). Quoting chant scholar Laszlo Dobszay, Lang argues that the
“disappearance of the Gregorian Propers ‘means that the Church today no longer speaks through the chants of the Mass: that the chants effectively have no part at all in forming the liturgy and delivering its message.’ The intimate connection between liturgy and music is severed” (148). Parishes may very well sing hymns that are appropriate to the season, but the way the Church has arranged the liturgical texts to correspond to seasons and rites fails to be reproduced in the selection of hymns. The musical tone of the season is of course joyful, but an interior joy. “All too often, however, the general influence of consumerist society affects the celebration of the liturgy, so that Christmas is unduly anticipated, while Advent loses its proper character. Music has an important role in shaping the liturgical year, and the Gregorian chant repertory is exemplary in this regard” (149). Rites in time In the book’s Epilogue, Lang comments on the possibility of liturgical renewal and the dangers of ritual change. A genuine way forward would be impeded and perceived as “another rupture” if traditional forms were simply decreed. Pope Benedict’s move toward reform in issuing Summorum Pontificum was to allow these two very distinct ritual forms to coexist and to allow the gravitas of the usus antiquior to influence the ordinary form, while the Extroardinary Form could legitimately adopt some new possibilities. If this “mutual enrichment” works the way it was conceived, then “the characteristic spirit or ethos informing the ritual expression of the sacred” would be “essentially the same” (154) and thus create a situation where we could genuinely “speak of two forms of the same rite” (155). Signs of the Holy One gives much to reflect on with regard to the nature of the liturgy, particularly its sacred character and how that is expressed through signs. Attention to the “hermeneutic of continuity” with regard to all of the liturgical signs (from the vessels to the church building) can help us to establish the “symbolic world” of the liturgy, so that its rituals have more room to effect the “change or transformation” the Lord intended through the sacraments (23). This involves paying attention to the principle of sacramentality and the accompanying solemnitas given to the relatively simple actions of the liturgy. While building and renovating churches is not an everyday practice, Father Lang gives much to think about in terms of how aspects of the church building are emphasized. For example, I know of many churches where the main “threshold” entrance is often never used, even for ritual occasions. Is there a threshold into the sanctuary? Is the sacred art in our churches a hodgepodge of things thrown together, or do they tend toward the “wonderful choir of praise” (MD 195) spoken of by Pius XII? Does the Church’s first and preferential option for sacred music get due consideration in the selection of sacred music employed in the liturgy? Father Uwe Michael Lang shows himself a sure guide as he moves from liturgical theology into ritual theory, from sacramental theology to sacred art and architecture, from liturgical music to principles of liturgical reform. In all of these, Lang manages to not only be informative, but insightful and thoughtprovoking. Jeremy Priest holds BAs in Theology and Philosophy. He studied graduate theology and scripture at the Pontifical College Josephinum and is currently finishing up his STL (focus in Sacramental Theology) at the Liturgical Institute of the University of St. Mary of the Lake. page 9
Adoremus Bulletin • Vol. XXI, No. 6 — March 2016
LETTERS Dear Editor, “Marriage Law Revisited” is one excellent article, very well written. I look forward to the Part II. So much was covered, but I was especially impressed by Mr. Nguyen’s clear explanation of a natural marriage, and what the sacrament adds to that natural marriage. He left no doubt that a natural marriage is a real marriage (assuming the two parties understand and accept the properties of marriage as such.) So many people—plenty of them Catholics—seem to think that when a marriage does not take place in a Catholic church, it really is not a permanent union, and subsequent divorce and remarriage is moral. With that view— only Catholics are capable of marriage. And even those marriages can be written off by sneaky annulment tribunals. What a mess! This article will be helpful for the confused—don’t we hope! I treasure my copy. Thank you, Charlotte Ellis Santa Rosa, CA To the editor: Can I suggest you put letters to the editor back in publication? Sure was helpful with Catholic apologetics. James Schneider via email Adoremus replies: Your email is not the first time we have heard this request. Look forward to more readers’ letters, notes, and questions in the future. But
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we need your help: don’t hesitate to submit any questions and comments you may have. Dear Adoremus, I am very grateful for the Adoremus Issues—the January one is most extraordinary with the Pope’s opening of the Holy Door of Mercy. My offering to you is my prayer that you will be able to continue enriching our minds and hearts with your extraordinary articles. Enjoyment for me, and I pass it along to others. Thank you, Sister Blanche Methuen, Mass.
Questions of Faith
In some places, Ascension is on Thursday, while in other places it is observed on Sunday. Why is this the case? For many people, questions surrounding the liturgical calendar continue to be among the most frequently asked and most difficult to understand. This is especially true of holy days of obligation. The Code of Canon Law, in addition to the General Norms on the Universal Year and Calendar, lists the Church’s holy days. The first and most important holy day, Canon 1246§1 says, is Sunday, “which by apostolic tradition the
paschal mystery is celebrated, must be observed in the universal Church as the primordial holy day of obligation.” After Sunday, the Code lists ten holy days of obligation for the Universal Church: 1. M ary the Mother of God, January 1 2. Epiphany, January 6 3. St. Joseph, March 19 4. Ascension, Thursday of the Sixth week of Easter 5. C orpus Christi, Thursday after Trinity Sunday 6. Sts. Peter and Paul, June 29 7. Assumption of Mary, August 15 8. All Saints, November 1 9. I mmaculate Conception, December 8 10. Christmas, December 25
But Canon 1246 also permits Bishops’ conferences, with the approval of the Holy See, to suppress some of these holy days or transfer them to a Sunday. In the dioceses of the United States, for example, two of these holy days of obligation – St. Joseph and Sts. Peter and Paul – have been suppressed. These days remain solemnities (which has some impact on what other Masses, such as ritual Masses, may be said), but their obligatory character is lifted. Other holy days may be transferred to a Sunday. Again, in the dioceses of the United States, the Epiphany, Corpus Christi, and – at least in some places – the Ascension are transferred
“I know my sheep” – Do you know your Sheep? Mystagogy on the Lamb of God By Chris Carstens Imagine yourself walking along the Jordan River one afternoon. As you pass by a man dressed in camel’s hair, you see him point into the distance and say, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” Would it surprise or confuse you, especially if you were a devout member of the Chosen People? Calling someone a “Lamb of God” is a strange thing to do – isn’t it? Or imagine yourself today, just prior to the reception of Holy Communion, singing a short litany about the “Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.” And then, as if to emphasize the point, the priest raises the host and says, echoing John the Baptist, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” Is the appellation “Lamb of God” any less strange now than it may have been 2000 years ago? For a follower of John the Baptist, reference to the Lamb of God would not, I submit, have been an odd one to make, for the Chosen People’s history had seen many lambs. For a follower of Jesus, his title “Lamb of God” should also not be peculiar, and for the same reasons that John’s disciples didn’t find it peculiar. But perhaps we’ve become accustomed to hearing of Jesus as Lamb of God and, like any familiar part of life, have not stopped to listen “with the ear of the heart.” How can we hear with greater acuity and grasp more firmly the meaning of the “Lamb of God”? In one of its most insightful sections, the Catechism of the Catholic Church reveals how to uncover the meaning of the liturgy’s signs and symbols – and words. “A sacramental celebration,” it says early on in Part II, “is woven from signs and symbols. In keeping with page 10
the divine pedagogy of salvation, their meaning is rooted in the work of creation and in human culture, specified by the events of the Old Covenant and fully revealed in the person and work of Christ” (CCC 1145). These signs also “prefigure and anticipate the glory of heaven” (CCC 1152). True, “Lamb of God” means Jesus. But if we wish to hear how it means Jesus, and the depth and detail and meaning and mystery of the expression, then looking to its roots, as the Catechism says, in creation, in culture, in the Old Covenant, in the life of Christ, and in heaven will help the words to resound more fully in our ears. Creation “Mary had a little lamb, its fleece was white as snow.” The color of the newborn lamb (well, of most lambs) is dazzling white, as was Jesus’ own clothing at the Transfiguration (Lk 9:29). The lamb is gentle and obedient: get one accustomed to your voice (as at feeding time) and he will – by natural instinct – come when called. Beginning March 21, the date of the spring equinox and the beginning of spring, the constellation Aries – The Ram – shines the lamb over the earth. Thus, from nature, the lamb means purity, gentleness, obedience, and new life. In short, it means Jesus.
Culture “Culture” is the root (no pun intended) of agriculture, and for much of history and in many places around the world the lamb has been a staple of farming. As the winter comes to an end in the northern hemisphere, and the natural world reawakens, planters and farmers and gardeners also get busy. Ewes bred in the late fall begin to deliver lambs near the end of March. It is believed that early nomadic herders, at the birth of the first springtime lamb, would offer it as a thanksgiving sacrifice to the gods. Here, cult, culture, and agriculture come together, cooperate, and grow. The lamb, from the cultural standpoint, signifies stewardship, thanksgiving, and sustenance, much in the same way that Jesus signifies these things as the Lamb of God.
to Sunday. In 1999, the Congregation for Bishops approved the legislation of the United States bishops that permitted “the Ecclesiastical Provinces of the United States [to] transfer the Solemnity of the Ascension of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ from Thursday of the Sixth Week of Easter to the Seventh Sunday of Easter.” An ecclesiastical province is a collection of dioceses, usually drawn along geographic lines, consisting of a metropolitan archdiocese and the suffragan dioceses, whose purpose is to promote “a common pastoral action of various neighboring dioceses and the more closely to foster relations between diocesan bishops” (Canon 431§1). The Milwaukee Province, by way of example, consists of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and the suffragan dioceses of Madison, Green Bay, Superior, and La Crosse. The Feast of the Ascension, then, is either transferred or not, based on the decision of the Ecclesiastical Province, so the feast may be celebrated 40 days after Easter – or 43, on the Seventh Sunday of Easter. There’s a final note about the remaining five holy days of obligation. When the feasts of Mary, Mother of God, the Assumption, or All Saints falls on a Saturday or Monday, the obligation to attend Mass and abstaining from work is lifted. The December holy days, however, always retain their obligatory character, even if December 8 or December 25 lands on Saturday or Monday.
were caught in a tree or thicket. (It was the springtime of the year, incidentally, with Aries itself looking on.) The firstborn in Egypt were likewise ransomed by an unblemished lamb, the “Paschal Lamb,” the blood of which marked the houses of the Israelites. Isaiah also spoke of the “lamb led to the slaughter or a sheep before the shearers, [who] was silent and opened not his mouth…. [T]hrough his suffering, my servant shall justify many, and their guilt he shall bear” (Isaiah 53:7, 11). The lambs of the Old Covenant, and to which John referred, represent willing sacrifice and life-giving redemption. These types of lambs find fulfillment in history’s greatest lamb, Jesus.
Wikipedia Commons Sacrifice of Isaac, by Caravaggio, c.1603.
Wikipedia Commons The Highland Shepherd, by Rosa Bonheur, 1859.
Old Testament Lambs and rams and sheep abound in the story of the Chosen People. Abel offered a “firstling from the flock” and, in a sense, is himself sacrificed. Isaac – after approaching Mt. Moriah on donkey, carrying the wood of the sacrifice up the mountain on his shoulders, submitting to his father’s will–is redeemed and replaced by a ram, whose horns
Christ At the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry, John not only calls Jesus the Lamb of God, but identifies him further as that Lamb “who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). At the end of Christ’s public ministry, the Paschal Lamb of God offered himself. Whereas the synoptic Gospels locate Jesus’ death on the day after Passover, the Gospel of John recounts Jesus’ death on the “preparation day for Passover, about noon” (John 19:14), the time when the annual slaughter of the Paschal Lambs began in the Temple. Jesus is the definitive lamb, the one for which all other Continued on Page 11
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lambs had been preparing, the one which, after his sacrifice on Calvary, all lambs will recall.
Wikipedia Commons St. John the Baptist, by Bartolomé González y Serrano, c.1621.
Heaven The death of the Lamb on Calvary, of course, was not the end. Heaven depicts “a Lamb that seemed to have been slain” (Revelation 5:6). The Lamb, although slain, is standing: it is a victorious Lamb, one enthroned, powerful, worthy, and worshipped. Heaven itself is likened to a wedding feast – of the Lamb. “The wedding feast of the Lamb has come, his bride has made herself ready…. Blessed are those who have been called to the wedding feast of the Lamb” (Revelation 19:7-9). Heaven, the last-named source of liturgical meaning, symbolizes a celebrating lamb, victorious and life-giving. Ecce Agnus Dei! Behold, then, this “Lamb of God” whom we hear of in the liturgy, whom we worship and receive and emulate. How should we describe him? This Lamb is
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pure, gentle, obedient, alive and life-giving, man’s collaborator, a sign of thanksgiving, sacrificial, redeeming, humble, suffering, atoning, victorious, a bridegroom, and the source of eternal life. We have heard of (and maybe even heard) lambs before. The next time we hear “Behold, the Lamb of God” at Mass, may we recognize a Lamb unlike any other. Jesus, the Lamb, knows his sheep: do we know ours?
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Wikipedia Commons Through him, with him, and in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours, almighty Father, for ever and ever. Amen.” Holy Trinity, artist unknown, 1471.
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Father Raniero Cantalamessa - First Lenten Sermon 2016
Worship in Spirit and Truth: the Place of the Holy Spirit in the Liturgy
Reflections on Sacrosanctum Concilium (Excerpts)
acrosanctum concilium arose from a need that was felt for a long time from many sides for a renewal of the forms and rites of the Catholic liturgy. From this perspective, it has had much fruit and, as a whole, has been very beneficial for the Church. Less felt at the time, however, was the need to look at what, after Romano Guardini, is called “the spirit of the liturgy,” which, in a sense that I will explain, I would call “the liturgy of the Spirit” (“Spirit” with a capital “s”!)…. Sacrosanctum concilium devoted only a brief initial text to [“the liturgy of the Spirit”], which was the fruit of the debate that preceded the final editing of the constitution:2 Christ indeed always associates the Church with himself in this great work wherein God is perfectly glorified and men are sanctified. The Church is his beloved Bride who calls to her Lord, and through him offers worship to the eternal Father. Rightly, then, the liturgy is considered as an exercise of the priestly office of Jesus Christ. In the liturgy the sanctification of the man is signified by signs perceptible to the senses, and is effected in a way which corresponds with each of these signs; in the liturgy the whole public worship is performed by the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ, that is, by the Head and his members. From this it follows that every liturgical celebration, because it is an action of Christ the priest and of his Body which is the Church, is a sacred action surpassing all others; no other action of the Church can equal its efficacy by the same title and to the same degree.3
It is in the subjects, or the “actors,” in the liturgy that we are able to note a lacuna in this description today. There are only two protagonists highlighted here: Christ and the Church. There is no mention whatsoever of the role of the Holy Spirit. In the rest of the constitution as well, the Holy Spirit is never directly spoken about but is only mentioned here and there and always “obliquely.” […] If Christian liturgy is “an exercise of the priestly office of Jesus Christ,” the best way to discover its nature is to look at how Jesus exercised that priestly function in his life and in his death. The role of the priest is to offer “prayers and sacrifices” to God (see Heb 5:1, 8:3). We know now that the Holy Spirit is the one who placed the cry “Abba!” in the heart of the incarnate Word – a cry that enclosed his every prayer. Luke explicitly notes this when he writes, “In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, ‘I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth…’” (Lk 10:21). The very offering of his body in sacrifice on the cross occurs, according to the Letter to the Hebrews, “through the eternal Spirit” (Heb 9:14), that is, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. St. Basil offers an illuminating text on this point: “The way to divine knowledge ascends from one Spirit through the one Son to the one Father. [Conversely] natural goodness, inherent holiness, and royal dignity reaches from the Father through the Only-Begotten to the Spirit.” In other words, on the level of being and the coming forth of creatures from God, everything comes from the Father, goes through the Son, and reaches us through the Holy Spirit. In the order of knowledge, or of the return of creatures to God, everything begins
with the Spirit, goes through the Son Jesus Christ, and ends with the Father. […] It is not a question, as we can see, of being a fan of one or the other of the three Persons of the Trinity but of safeguarding the trinitarian dynamic of the liturgy. Silence about the Holy Spirit inevitably dilutes its trinitarian character. […] Christian [liturgical] worship is also trinitarian. It is trinitarian in the manner in which it is carried out because it is adoration rendered “to the Father, through the Son, and in the Holy Spirit”; it is also trinitarian in its goal because adoration is given “to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit” together. In Western spirituality, the one who most developed this theme in depth was Cardinal Pierre de Bérulle (1575-1629). For him, Christ is the perfect worshipper of the Father, to whom we need to unite ourselves to worship God with a worship of infinite value. He writes, “From all eternity there was an infinitely adorable God, but there was still not an infinite worshipper…. You are now, O Jesus, that worshipper, that man, that servant who is infinite in power, in quality, and in dignity, and who fully satisfies that duty and renders that divine homage.”6 If there is something missing in this vision that has given the Church such wonderful fruit and has shaped French spirituality for centuries, it is the very fact that we noted in the constitution of Vatican II: the insufficient attention given to the role of the Holy Spirit. Moving from the incarnate Word, Bérulle’s discourse goes on to describe the “royal court” that follows and accompanies him: the Blessed Virgin, John the Bap-
tist, the apostles, the saints. What is missing is the recognition of the unique role of the Holy Spirit. In every movement of returning to God, St. Basil reminded us, everything begins with the Spirit, goes through the Son, and ends with the Father. It is not enough to recall every so often that there is also a Holy Spirit. We need to recognize his essential role both in the process of creatures coming forth from God and in the return of creatures to God. The gulf that exists between us and the Jesus of history is filled by the Holy Spirit. Without him everything in the liturgy is only remembrance; with him, however, everything is also presence. […] Let us conclude by proclaiming together the text that best reflects the place of the Holy Spirit and the trinitarian orientation in the liturgy, the final doxology in the Roman canon: “Through him, with him, and in him in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours, almighty Father, for ever and ever. Amen.” 1. See Romano Guardini, The Spirit of the Liturgy, trans. Ada Lane (London: Aeterna Press, 2015), and Joseph Ratzinger, The Spirit of the Liturgy, trans. John Saward (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2000). 2. Giuseppe Alberigo and Joseph A. Komonchak (for the English version), eds., The History of Vatican II, vol. 3 (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2000), p. 192ff. 3. Sacrosanctum concilium, n. 7. 4. St. Basil, On the Holy Spirit 18, 47, trans. David Anderson (Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir’s Seminary, 1997), pp. 74-75; see also PG 32, 153. 5. See Michel Dupuy, Bérulle, une spiritualité de l’adoration (Tournai: Desclée de Brouwer, 1964). 6. Pierre de Bérulle, Discours de l’état et des grandeurs de Jésus (1623; reprint, Paris: Éditions du Cerf, 1996). See also Bérulle and the French School: Selected Writings, trans. Lowell M. Glendon (New York: Paulist Press, 1989).
The March Issue of The Adoremus Bulletin featuring: The Ghent Altarpiece Then and Now by David Clayton – page 4 Marriage in Question, Part...
Published on Mar 15, 2016
The March Issue of The Adoremus Bulletin featuring: The Ghent Altarpiece Then and Now by David Clayton – page 4 Marriage in Question, Part...