Fr Charles Briggs is an expert on 19th century Church history, particularly the life and letters of Mgr Talbot and the life of Blessed Pope Pius IX. One of the main purposes of our trip outside the walls of Rome today was to visit the shrine of Blessed Pope Pius IX. Having duly offered a prayer asking for his intercession, and collected a couple of holy cards, we looked at the rest of the very Roman basilica of San Lorenzo Fuori le Mura. Here is the statue of St Lawrence with his gridiron:
Downstairs there is a piece of marble on which St Lawrence's body lay when it was collected by the Christians after his martyrdom.
The Basilica has a monumental ambo together with a candlestick for the Paschal candle.
This is not the only basilica in Rome that demonstrates visually that the reform of the Liturgy after Vatican II often in practice had little to do with restoring ancient use and a lot to do with dumbing down and the fear of anything beautiful and ancient.
The great ambo and candlestick could be taken as a sign of the importance attached to these elements of the liturgy. However, take a look at this photo of the basilica and see if you can spot anything.
Here is the close-up of the lectern that is actually used to proclaim the Word of God:
and here is the paschal candlestick in use this Eastertide.