Spring is that time of the year when new springs up abundantly. Flowers begin to bloom, trees start to produce leaves, grass comes back to life, and the cold air warms up. But most importantly, we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus on Easter. It is the greatest Solemnity of the Church Year as we rejoice in our Lord’s victory over sin and death. It is the sign that we are no longer slaves to sin and the limitations of this world but destined to rise up with Jesus and share his glory at the end of our journey on earth. That is truly a reason to celebrate. Alleluia!
May you and your families truly have a Happy Easter.
“O my God, why have you sent me into the world?”
“To save your soul.”
“And why do you wish me to save my soul?”
“Because I love you.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars
“INSIDE OUR SACRED SPACE”
|The Ambo at the Basilica of the Assumption in Baltimore, MD.|
During the Mass, the ambo is the focal point for the Liturgy of the Word. From this kind of tall, elevated desk, “only the readings, the responsorial psalm and Easter proclamation (Exsultet) are to be proclaimed; it may be used also for giving the homily and for announcing the intentions of the prayer of the faithful” (General Instruction of the Roman Missal, No. 309). The design and location of the altar and ambo emphasize the close relationship between the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist: from the holy altar we receive the body and blood of Christ, and from the ambo, Christ’s holy doctrine. In this regard the ambo, like the altar, is not just an object but sacred place.
|Rev. Msgr. Carl Cummings speaks from the pulpit at St. Jane Frances|
The General Instruction of the Roman Missal also explains: “The dignity of the word of God requires that the church have a place that is suitable for the proclamation of the word and toward which the attention of the whole congregation of the faithful naturally turns during the Liturgy of the Word.”
Once the persecution of Christians ended in the fourth century, churches were built and designed with an ambo or raised platform, making it easier for the congregation to hear. Around the ninth century, the pulpit replaced the ambo and was located either in the sanctuary or the nave.
***This article “Inside Our Sacred Space” was originally published in the OSV Newsweekly, www. OSV.com, on January 8-14, 2017 and is used with permission of the author D.D. Emmons. ***