Monday, 29 August 2011

Notre Dame Cathedral in Luxembourg

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Recently I read Michael Rose's "Ugly as Sin" and was struck by the comments in that book about Church doors. Many modern Churches have doors with glass in them as a way of expressing openness to the world or something. The fact is that if it is daylight when you look through a door that has glazed panels, you see a relatively dark interior and probably a lobby first of all. I hadn't realised before how important it was that so many doors of fine Churches evangelise through their imagery.

Above you can see the entrance of the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Luxembourg with a crowned statue of Our Lady, flanked by St Peter and St Paul. Below, St Ignatius and St Francis show the Jesuit influence in Luxembourg.

Sadly, the High altar has been denuded and the principal altar is now an uninspiring block. Nevertheless, the sanctuary is still dominated by the statue of Our Lady, Consoler of the Afflicted who has been the object of honour in the city since 1624 when the Jesuits carried her statue through the city, urging devotion to her during the ravages of the 30 years war.

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Our Lady was given the keys of the City in 1666 when she was formally nominated as Patroness of the City. The devotion was transposed to the United States when many Luxembourgers emigrated there in the 19th century. (You can read more at the Institut Grand-Ducal.)

The Church should not only raise the mind and heart to God as the visitor enters, but also on his departure:

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I have other photos of Luxembourg at my Flickr collection and will be adding more in due course.

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