The Value of the Mass

The Value of the Mass
Up to our own times, it has been the constant concern of supreme pontiffs to ensure that the Church of Christ offers a worthy ritual to the Divine Majesty, 'to the praise and glory of His name,' and 'to the benefit of all His Holy Church - Pope Benedict XVI, Summorum Pontificum

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Old Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis King of France

Time for my second post on my trip to St. Louis. My second stop in the Rome of the west was to the Old Basilica Cathedral of St. Louis King of France.

The design of the Church is fairly simple in a Greek revival style. In this very simple church, however, great noble designs are found. The church itself is made of sandstone and the church (in my estimation) is solid as a rock.
Here you can see the entirety of the sanctuary. Again the design is very simple but at the same time it is very evident that those who designed and worshipped in this church wished to reflect the glory of Christ and His Church in all that they did. This is unlike the modern notion of simplicity which can be defined as only cheap.
Being Greek Revival, everything in the church was white (except the modern carpet.) All of the statues were not colored but simply white. This effect gave the impression of an ancient Greek temple. The organ itself aided in the process being made of very dark wood with silver pipes and silver accents. It is one of the most beautiful organs I have seen.
By far the highlight of this church is the quality of the artwork. Notice the great detail in the crucifix and the station pictured. They are absolutely exquisite. Also the statuary, as mentioned before, matches the style of the church and gives a marble like quality to the interior.

The last peice I'll highlight is this painting of the Coronation of St. Louis IX. I'm not going to explain the painting, as the plaque does a better job than I could. Again, this is another example of the tremendous artwork inside the old cathedral.

This church, despite being quite simple, is breathtaking. My only question is to exactly what modifications were made after the Second Vatican Council. If anybody has any information on that please inform me. Also, if anybody happens to have any pictures of the Cathedral prior to 1970, I would appriciate getting them to compare.


nickwinker said...

The Basilica was restored to its current condition rather recently. Over time it has changed quite a bit, looking more Gothic inside at one point, ugly baldichion (spelling?) and all. At one point the window above the altar was bricked up.
The Major difference between now and its building is the carpet and the loft extended all the way around to house undesirables, slaves, the sick, away from the main nave of the Church.
Some notable elements are, the umbrolino is incredibly large for the space, which is cool. The front of the building has the tetragramton, YHWH, the name of God, in Hebrew on it. It was also the location of the first meeting of the St. Vincent De Paul Society in the United States.

Zach said...

Thanks for all the info!