A rather impressive sight, would you say? I’d love to visit sometime.
This cathedral church for the Diocese of Rome is part of the focus for Sunday’s liturgy. For the last of several times this year, a solemnity replaces an ordinary Sunday.
As the mother church of the West, St John Lateran (dedicated to Christ and both Gospel disciples named John) has, or should have, special meaning to all Catholics this weekend. How will it be preached? How celebrated?
My parish will light the dedication candles on the walls. (I have to remember this!) We will also have a sprinkling rite at Mass. Special readings here. Psalm 46 doesn’t come up often in the Lectionary, which is too bad. It’s a lovely and impressive text–appropriate for these days of concern and confusion.
What’s not in the psalm verses given us is this apt reminder:
“Be still and know that I am God!
I am exalted among the nations,
exalted on the earth.”
Voice of God, no less. Happy feast day, all!
This to me is a feast of religious freedom from state persecution, but in a way that should dampen melodramatic egoism about such freedom (that is, Cdl George should chill here). It should remind us that such freedom is not easily won, nor easily maintained and, like all freedoms, can be misused in the pursuit of noble ends by not so noble means.
How does the Body of Christ tend to behave under conditions of oppression?
How does the Body of Christ tend to behave under conditions of freedom?
What is good in each situation? What is not so good? How to we avoid idealizing one or the other, and rationalizing our not-so-good behaviors away in each?
PS: as a space for corporate worship, the Lateran is far superior to St Peter’s in my book.
While one might lament the Baroque encrustation of the original basilica, the fabric of the original was much compromised by repeated earthquakes and sackings; if you wish to to see what a reconstruction of a 4th century major basilica looks like, just go to St Paul’s Outside the Walls instead. I rather like Borromini’s ingenious solution for shoring up the old nave pillars: filling in every other arcade with wonderful statuary of the Apostles. And I do love the transept tabernacle for the Blessed Sacrament (gilt bronze pillars pillaged from the Temple of Saturn, and a relief of the Last Supper overhead….) and the 19th century extension of the apse for the cathedra is also attractive.
PS: Presbytery and cathedra in apse
The famous octagonal baptistery, which is closer to the original style of Late Antiquity, with relatively minor Baroque encrustation:
Since I have never understood why this feast rated a solemnity to bump an ordinary Sunday, I was hoping that the celebrant would elaborate on the subject in his homily. Which he did. His take was that it honored the leadership of the pope as the first among bishops.
I like the idea that your parish lit the dedication candles, remembering its own foundation. The feast is a bit of history, why not celebrate the local parish history as well?
I liked the use of Psalm 64 as well as the other readings.