Tuesday, January 13, 2004

From blog correspondent Dave McLaughlin
Photos of Dave’s visit to New Skete, Cambridge, New York: sanctuary and screen and altar
This is a monastery church (minster, katholikon), not a parish church. (In the first picture you can see part of the facing choir stalls.) Not the Russian high-church look I like in Byzantine Rite churches but I like this too. It's a kind of liturgical archæology I usually don't approve of, reverting to an earlier form of the icon screen (like Western Catholic rood screens and the screen in the Byzantine-inspired San Marco in Venice). Entirely Catholic and based on good liturgical-movement principles, not Modernist at all. And Bishop Kallistos (Ware) writes in The Orthodox Church that the Russian Orthodox St John of Kronstadt did this to the iconostasis in his parish church in Tsarist Russia. It's a legit option. The chapel at St Vladimir's Seminary in Crestwood, New York - where I've been to the whole weekend round of services - has a similar open screen but not as extreme. I woudn't want to see all such churches look like this but it's an example of what real liturgical renewal might look like.

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