Sunday, August 29, 2010

Vatican II Changes Prompt Interior Redecoration

St. Mary's Church was built at a time when the thrust of the Liturgy was the relationship with God and the Liturgy was a means of promoting this relationship.

One of the thrusts that Vatican II gave the Liturgy was the full participation of God's people.

With this change in focus, the parish council and Father W--- consulted with Frank Kazmarcek, a nationally known liturgical consultant. He presented observations and recommendations...

The lighting fixtures were removed and replaced with Quartz lighting recessed in the ceiling...

Regarding the altar, ambo and chair, the marble of the present altar was cut and used in the new altar. The red marble of the present altar was used in the tabernacle pedestal and present tabernacle was used for the reservation of the blessed sacrament [sic]. Marble from the present side altars was used for the ambo and the presidential chair.

Another recommendation that was adopted was to paint the church one color in its entirety so that prominence was given to the altar and the sanctuary. This included the decorations so they didn't detract from the liturgical action.

Kazmarcek recommended off-white, but a shade of green was used instead.

Kazmarcek said the communion rail should be removed since it was superfluous.

Even though he suggested the stations of the cross be removed, they, too, were painted green.

Kazmarcek also said since the emphasis was the liturgical action, the statues were superfluous and many lacked meaning to the general assembly. Therefore, they were also painted green to blend with the rest of the church. A large crucifix was hung on the back wall of the Sanctuary.

The statue of the Blessed Mother was put on a pedestal rather than on the wall. Any paintings were removed.

The floor of the sanctuary and entry was carpeted.

It was at this time, also, that the choir and organ were placed in front.

My parish church, St. Mary's in Aberdeen, South Dakota, was renovated following the Second Vatican Council. This account of the renovations was taken from the history book published on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the parish, celebrated in 2003.


Stephen said...

Henry VIII or Charles Cromwell could not have done a better job of defiling your parish church than Frank Kazmerek, the architect. I presume that he might be Catholic, but do you know for sure?

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

There is altogether too much thrusting going on in this document.