Monday, April 04, 2005

All Pope, All the Time.

This is going to be my last post on the recently deceased John Paul. I found myself in a very interesting place at the time the Pope passed this mortal realm. A kind of place that I haven't been in since I last visited Scotland back in 2000.

I was in a Catholic Church.

This was completely by coincidence. One of Mrs. Mosley's oldest and dearest friends was getting married on Saturday, and we were there for the ceremony. It started at 2pm and ended at about 2:30. So, you could say that they exchanged their vows within minutes of the Pope's passing. There really isn't anything to this. It's not like this means their marriage is cursed or anything. Just a bit of really weird timing.

The church itself was very tastefully appointed with none of the ostentation that the sect is historically known for. However, I couldn't help but stare at the altar, which was made out of marble or polished stone and was about eight to ten feet long. I couldn't help thinking of a sacrificial slab every time I looked at it. I'm not well versed in the specific trappings of Catholicism, so I'm wondering if anyone out there knows the history behind this kind of altar design?

And that's it for Pope John Paul II, may he Rest in Peace. Tomorrow, I'll have something far more mundane like a Chicken Caesar review. Until then.


John said...

I'm not familiar with the reasoning behind Catholic altars, but all Methodist altars are designed to resemble sacrificial slabs. I think that this is the Christian norm, Protestant or Catholic. The theology is that blood sacrifice is required for atonement of sins, and this was described in painstaking detail in the Mosaic Law. Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice to atone for sins past, present, and future. The Christian view is that the death of Jesus wasn't a terrible, senseless act, but a necessary human sacrifice, albeit unknown to the Roman soldiers who carried it out.

The altar in Temple in Jerusalem is replicated in Christian churches as a place of sacrifice, and the sacrifice is done symbolically by placing the communion bread (the body of Christ) on the altar. So, yes, it is supposed to look like a sacrificial slab.

Alonzo Mosley (FBI) said...

Thank you, John. I knew I could count on you for an answer to this.