Sunday, December 27, 2009

Calling for a Return of the Two Portable Altars in the Laterano

It was always a nice (and harmless) little tradition that only the popes had the privilege to celebrate Holy Mass atop the main altar of the Lateran  Archbasilica. 

Meanwhile, all visiting priests had the joy to celebrate Holy Mass atop this portable altar, if they so wished, overlooking the same confessio (where the martyrs are buried).

Then came the 1960s when suddenly it was said that this (Catholic) tradition was "bad" and that "change" had to happen.  Today there is no portable altar and many different canons and priests often celebrate Mass atop the main "papal" altar.    


  1. Just because it happened once doesnt mean that it couldnt change, some things that happened in the 60s were good for instance st Joesphs name being added to the canon

  2. JP,

    What a great tradition. There should be something said about Papal altars and the importnance of the Petrine office, with regard to the liturgical action. Not everything should be brought to the common level.

    Papal altars would qualify.

  3. An unusual (for the 60s) reversal of what was happening elsewhere. High Altars were being abandoned or even destroyed in favour of ugly portable altars.

  4. Vernon,

    True, except those are not ugly. They are dignified...the Church in her wisdom...