November 09, 2007

November 9 is the Feast of the Anniversary of the Dedication of the Pope's Cathedral

It is not St. Peter's Basilica.
Rather, it is the Lateran Basilica, whose full formal title is:
Archbasilica of the Most Holy Savior and Saints John the Baptist and John the Evangelist at the Lateran.
Just as a Christian may receive a saint's name, but is baptized in the NAME of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, so a church may receive a saint's name, but is dedicated to GOD.
The anniversary of the dedication of a church is liturgically a feast of the Lord.
The Church is the Body of Christ, and the physical church building is an architectural sign and presence of Christ.
For that reason the walls of a church are chrismated, anointed with Sacred Chrism-- "christed"-- like an altar and a priest.
That is why November 9 is always observed as the Feast of the Dedication of St. John-- "day of the Lord"-- even when it falls on a Sunday.

Pope Benedict XVI on the papal cathedra ("chair") at the Papal Cathedral of St. John Lateran


The pope's cathedra (click on this photo to see a full-screen version of it)


3 Comments:

Blogger S said...

Is there no permanent altar?

7:36 PM  
Blogger Father Stephanos, O.S.B. said...

The floorplan is basically a cross, with the altar at the intersection.

One of the now little-remembered laws in force from after Trent until Vatican II was that in a cathedral the "chair" (cathedra) of the bishop was to go in the apse, and the tabernacle was to go to a side altar in the sanctuary.

10:42 AM  
Blogger Dr. Peter H. Wright said...

S,
I would certainly describe the high altar with its Gothic baldachino as permanent !

I was built in 1369.

Google for St. John Lateran or San Giovanni in Laterano.

There are plenty of websites on the subject.

Choose one with pictures, so you can see what the high altar and baldachino look like.

12:28 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

Click HERE to go back to the front page of this blog.