Friday, 6 April 2012

Why sitting round a table for Mass is nonsense

One of the consolations of reading other priests' blogs is knowing that you are not alone. I find this, not only in general terms but in relation to some very specific questions such as the temptations of Christ (He was not simply "tempted" in every way that we are because He did not have concupiscence), the apostolic origins of clerical celibacy, the serious doubts about the authorship and dating of the Apostolic Tradition (which is not therefore an unimpeachable text for constructing liturgical reform). Those are just off the top of my head. Nowadays, I don't feel so much like a voice crying in the wilderness on these issues.

Today I delighted to find another example. On his excellent blog, Mgr Charles Pope has written a piece on The Seating Plan at the Last Supper. Hint - Christ and the apostles were not sat round a table as depicted by, say, Leonardo Da Vinci.

Therefore, by the way, even if we were to accept liturgical archaeologism as a sensible guide to the celebration of Mass, and even if the early Christians ever did in fact model liturgical ceremonies themselves on the ritual of the Last Supper, it would still not be correct even on those terms to have everyone sitting around a large table for Mass.
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