What's your opinion on offering Mass in baroque vestments in a Gothic chapel?
#41
(09-26-2011, 03:16 PM)The_Harlequin_King Wrote: I'm on my phone and out on the town so I can't address specifics at the moment, but since you didn't concede or agree with a single one of my points, I wonder if you're arguing for the sake of arguing now.  Shit, at least I can say that Saint Peter's looks great, even if it's not my favorite church in the world. I visited it once and it left an impression in my memory that's sure to last for a lifetime.

Your total rejection of medievalism is odd for a traditional Catholic. Curious: what do you think of Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings?

This is definitely not for the sake of argument. :) I am deeply convicted of these ideas; please be sure of that. The light of glory, which is the Truth Aquinas so revered, shines forth in the classical marble much better than gothic, in my opinion. This is one of the dearest issues to my heart. ;D I am a very black-and-white person, and every one of your points fell into opposition with mine. I absolutely dislike medieval architecture from all angles, except maybe how grand and majestic it is in its bulkiness. My Godfather and every Catholic I've met is obsessed with Gothic, and I've always found it strange. FE just confirms my suspicion that it's the traditional Catholic expression. I think it's totally ugly.

To think I'm arguing for the sake of just arguing is like thinking you decorate your bedroom the way you do just to elicit shocked reactions by those who visit. You do it because you love it.

I haven't read LOTR, except some of the Fellowship long before I had my current convictions (like, 10 years ago).
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#42
Okay. Well, if that's what you believe, that's what you believe. I just found it really odd that you would disagree with my entire post since I imagine we're of like mind in many other things, based on your posts elsewhere on the forum.

I mean, do you think the Baroque's introduction of women in choral music was a good development? Do you prefer Bach and Handel over plainchant and early choral polyphony?
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#43
(09-26-2011, 03:56 PM)The_Harlequin_King Wrote: Okay. Well, if that's what you believe, that's what you believe. I just found it really odd that you would disagree with my entire post since I imagine we're of like mind in many other things, based on your posts elsewhere on the forum.

I'm sure we do, brother, but not in terms of architecture. :laughing:

Quote:I mean, do you think the Baroque's introduction of women in choral music was a good development? Do you prefer Bach and Handel over plainchant and early choral polyphony?

There IS a median between early polyphony and Bach: anything between Josquin and the death of Palestrina, now that is truly beautiful. Music isn't really the issue here though, but structure and appearance. The reason I'm so belligerent is because it's fascinating to try to understand why trads are so big on Gothic. You have to oppose it strongly to bring out your opponents' reasons for liking something. I want to get right to the psychological and symbolic core of it. No one is ever adequately able to tell me why it's so Christian... in their own words. I don't want to be directed to a book; I want your personal reasons. I especially want to learn why trads are so shocked when a Catholic dislikes Gothic; it's like putting down the Rosary or Novenas.
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#44
Quote:The reason I'm so belligerent is because it's fascinating to try to understand why trads are so big on Gothic. You have to oppose it strongly to bring out your opponents' reasons for liking something. I want to get right to the psychological and symbolic core of it. No one is ever adequately able to tell me why it's so Christian... in their own words. I don't want to be directed to a book; I want your personal reasons.

Personal reasons? Well, for starters, my very first memory in my entire life is of stained-glass windows in a church in College Station, Texas. It was Methodist and the church wasn't actually Gothic, but stained-glass is a property of the Gothic period. A great many churches in the Baroque period had their stained-glass windows broken out and replaced with clear glass, the thought of which just seems outrageous and Protestant-like. I also have very vivid memories of the stained-glass windows of the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. when I was in elementary school. Indeed, I can remember the windows of virtually every single church I've ever walked into my whole life. There's something about the way they catch light and form sacred images that commands my attention.

Beyond that, Gothic belongs to the High Middle Ages, when Christianity was more saturated in the daily lives of western Europeans than any other period. It was a style made entirely by Christians, for Christian purposes. Even my bedchamber, as you pointed out, which is painted and decorated in a Gothic style, makes an impression of medieval Christianity to anyone who visits it, even if the shrine weren't there. To look at it another way, you can build a Jewish synagogue in the Baroque style easily enough, but it would be really odd to see a synagogue in the Gothic because it's so associated with Christianity. (I imagine one could dig up a Gothic synagogue with enough Googling, but I'm talking generalities here.)


Quote:I especially want to learn why trads are so shocked when a Catholic dislikes Gothic; it's like putting down the Rosary or Novenas.

*shrug* A few saints who lived in the High Middle Ages disliked Gothic style when it first was being created, but for wholly different reasons than what you've put here. They usually pulled the "noble simplicity" card. Your reasons boil down to liking the ancient pagan Roman ways a lot.

I'm not mad if someone prefers a certain style over Gothic, but rejecting Gothic and medievalism entirely is to basically reject Christian civilization. Since you mentioned the Rosary and novenas, I can draw a parallel by saying that I'm not the biggest fan of those devotions, but I wouldn't knock them down. Doing so would be an attack on Christianity itself. I just think private devotions have eclipsed the importance of the Divine Office, which is a very bad trend.


I'll address your longer post shortly.
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#45
On second thought, I can't address most of your previous post because it would just be a lot of my opinion versus your opinion. At the root of it all is what seems to be your belief that the whole Middle Ages before Plutarch and Erasmus were, in fact, "dark ages":

Quote:The Gothic revival of the 1800's was always, and everywhere, harkening back to the ugliness of a pre-Classical world, a pre-Plutarch, pre-Erasmus world! Heroes and maidens were made up as if the entire Mediaeval era was one big Arthurian legend. I can't stand such B.S., even if it is for God's sake.

Until you can get over that, you probably won't be able to appreciate the Gothic style at all.


Quote:I always thought it was a great and beautiful thing that Catholicism got away from the Orthodox tendency of the iconostasis. We are now able to see the sanctuary whose protecting veil was rent, both in reaction to the blasphemy of the Crucifixion, and as a sign that we may enter the sanctuary of the temple of our hearts in Christ. It is so glorious, so holy... rood screens and iconostases ruin that meaning in my opinion. The meaning of the Mass must come before aesthetics, though aesthetics certainly can help convey the meaning.

Dude, the image in your signature of a veiled tabernacle and altar come from the medieval tradition (and of course the Biblical) of concealing the sacred. However, a great many traditional churches neglect the rules on altar frontals and tabernacle veils in favor of exposing the beautiful craftsmanship underneath.

By your line of reasoning, the veils should be done away with. The same logic has also seen the end of the Latin language in worship, priest facing the people, etc., etc. Think about it.
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#46
(09-26-2011, 05:52 PM)The_Harlequin_King Wrote: On second thought, I can't address most of your previous post because it would just be a lot of my opinion versus your opinion. At the root of it all is what seems to be your belief that the whole Middle Ages before Plutarch and Erasmus were, in fact, "dark ages"

Indeed...

Quote:Dude, the image in your signature of a veiled tabernacle and altar come from the medieval tradition (and of course the Biblical) of concealing the sacred. However, a great many traditional churches neglect the rules on altar frontals and tabernacle veils in favor of exposing the beautiful craftsmanship underneath.

By your line of reasoning, the veils should be done away with. The same logic has also seen the end of the Latin language in worship, priest facing the people, etc., etc. Think about it.

Obviously a line must be met and not crossed. We are individual substances of a rational nature; throwing out the snowball effect in Liturgy is not a viable argument. The veil over the Tabernacle is at least rent in two, but the rood screens and iconostases cover the entire sanctuary. It's a matter of degree. It is still a mystery and a sacrifice, but we need not cover the priest with screens - Christ was seen, though His actions were unseen. There are so many arguments for every degree and angle of architecture... sigh. A good sophist can make many arguments for versus populum liturgy just as much as you can throw out good ad orientem ideas. This is very depressing; how relative it all is between people - all you can do as a priest is force what you want and the proles will eventually shut up.
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#47
By the way, I asked your opinion of Tolkien because he's a very popular figure among traditional Catholics and was one himself. He was absolutely a medievalist who spent his life studying old Norse and Anglo-Saxon history, language, poetry and mythology. He taught Beowulf and made a translation of the Arthurian Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. The Lord of the Rings was heavily influenced by all these studies, as well as Christianity.

But if you think everything before Plutarch was a dark age, you might think Tolkien's career was a giant waste of time.
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#48
I watched the extended LOTR trilogy ;) apart from its grand heroism and classical mold of protagonists, it was very dark and medievalish, yes. Obviously the novels are even more intense, from what I've heard. The original cover Tolkien designed for the Return reminds me of the Book of Kells, hehe.

Also, H.K.,

Quote:*shrug* A few saints who lived in the High Middle Ages disliked Gothic style when it first was being created, but for wholly different reasons than what you've put here. They usually pulled the "noble simplicity" card. Your reasons boil down to liking the ancient pagan Roman ways a lot.

May I ask which saints said such?
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#49
(09-26-2011, 07:10 PM)Laetare Wrote: May I ask which saints said such?

Actually, that was probably an exaggeration. I can't actually think of one who disliked Gothic as a whole. But Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, for example, didn't like the use of gargoyles.

Quote:What are these fantastic monsters doing in the cloisters before the eyes of the brothers as they read? What is the meaning of these unclean monkeys, these strange savage lions, and monsters? To what purpose are here placed these creatures, half beast, half man, or these spotted tigers? I see several bodies with one head and several heads with one body. Here is a quadruped with a serpent's head, there a fish with a quadruped's head, then again an animal half horse, half goat... Surely if we do not blush for such absurdities, we should at least regret what we have spent on them.

But to answer his question, the gargoyles were typically placed outside the church to represent the forces of hell outside the ark, so to speak. Gargoyles inside the church tend to be of a more benign character, either sacred, purely decorative, or sometimes even humorous. The medievals certainly had a bigger sense of humor than we do today.
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#50
(09-26-2011, 07:46 PM)The_Harlequin_King Wrote: Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, for example, didn't like the use of gargoyles.

Saint Bernard basically didn't like anything.  Holy man, but a real party pooper...
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