Denis R. McNamara
The Mass of St. Gregory: Snapshot of a Mystery
The Church’s addition of the Feast of Corpus Christi to its universal calendar is generally thought to have begun…
The Sacred Depth of the Baptismal Font: The Place of Re-Creation
As the gateway to the Church, the Sacrament of Baptism calls for the baptismal font to be a vital element of church architecture—as Denis McNamara explains.
Pope John XXIII’s “Quiet” Theology of the Noble Pipe Organ Resounds with Liturgical Implications
Just days before the opening of the Second Vatican Council, Pope John XXIII delivered a now little-known allocution at the blessing of the newly renovated pipe organ in St. Peter’s Basilica. While it may seem unremarkable that the pope would say a few words on such an occasion, his text gives an intriguing theological explanation of the nature of the pipe organ in Catholic worship not found in other ecclesiastical documents.
That Other “Seat of Wisdom”—The Role of the Celebrant’s Chair in the Life of the Church
Together with the altar and ambo, the celebrant’s chair is considered one of the three principal liturgical furnishings in the sanctuary of every Catholic church, and frequently, the Church’s official documents give short theological explanations about the nature of each.
The Ambo: Launch Platform for the Word
The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) makes a striking claim: “[W]hen the Sacred Scriptures are read in the…
The Rite Questions: Is There a Theology of Church Floor Design?
Though it might at first seem surprising, church floors are a potent part of the symbol system of a church building, which is itself a visible image of the Heavenly Jerusalem, the place of true worship which includes the new heaven and the new earth mentioned in the Book of
Altar as Alter Christus: Ontology and Sacramentality
A longstanding theological maxim states that Christ is the priest, the victim and the altar of his own self-sacrificial offering.1…
What Does a Church Building Mean?
Online Edition June-July 2014 Vol. XX, No. 4 What Does a Church Building Mean? by Denis McNamara A church…
Bearers of the Heavenly Jerusalem
Online Edition: April 2010 Vol. XVI, No. 2 Eastertide Bearers of the Heavenly Jerusalem Vatican II and Development in Church…
Meeting House or Church:The Hermeneutics of Discontinuity and Reform
Online Edition: September 2009 Vol. XV, No. 6 Meeting House or Church: The Hermeneutics of Discontinuity and Reform by Denis…