An alternate altar design for Cofton Park

Thanks to the great Vincenzo, we can see how to rescue the design for the big Papal Mass at Cofton Park.

For some background:

WDTPRS POLL: sanctuary design for Pope Benedict’s visit to England

UPDATE: 1 Sept 17:52 GMT:

I see that England’s best Catholic weekly, The Catholic Herald has linked to the original post with the WDTPRS POLL.  Perhaps you readers might reciprocate and contribute well-considered and respectful comments in the discussion over there as well.

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  1. Iconophilios says:

    Excellent. With something like this, Liturgesy is almost impossible!

  2. Desertfalcon says:

    Bingo! There ya’ go…

  3. HighMass says:

    Much Better, really looks Roman Catholic

  4. Luke says:

    Frankly, all of these items, short of the altar, could be inflatable! What a great idea. The only problem is that the sky is far too blue for the UK.

  5. So, we go from iconoclasm to kitsch. I honestly don’t know which is worse, but I wish Matthew Alderman were here.

  6. I hope the “folks responsible” in the UK (and elsewhere) are looking at this…
    Vincenzo should be the “Papal designer” for these outdoor Masses…
    sometimes, it is not only a complete embarrassment, but a really abysmal testament to what has happened these past 45 years.

  7. Of course Vincenzo is going way over the top. But the point is that we can do better. The old Olympics stadium in Los Angeles looks more like a church than this.

    The other point is, that when you’re celebrating a beatification of a guy known for his scholarship on liturgy and church history, and for his aesthetic works…

    Well, think about it. If you were holding a Bl. Fra Angelico beatification ceremony, the logical thing would be to make all the Mass areas beautiful, at least in a plain and homely way but at best in a way that echoed his work and ideas. As an artist or architect, or even as an event organizer, you wouldn’t be able to look yourself in the eye if you didn’t at least try.

    So if the designers had gone all crazy with the Italianate, or turned the sanctuary into late Regency steampunk Catholicism, in their enthusiasm, you’d at least know they’d failed out of love.

    But your average mall department store could put together a better display case than this. It’s not a fitting welcome for a pope or the beatification of a great man. It’s the product of not bothering to think or to try. I can live with it; but I’m sure San Marino could do better than this. The average Antarctic base could probably put together something more striking and artistic out of packing cases.

    This is not to say that the US papal stuff was any better. (Though we also managed some nice furniture. I guess we should let the furniture guys design the sanctuary too.)

  8. irishgirl says:

    I like this!

    I echo nazareth priest in saying that ‘the great Vincenzo’ should be the designer for outdoor Papal Masses! Woo hoo!

    Should change the words of Cardinal Newman’s motto from English to Latin, though….ah well, you can’t have everything, I suppose. ; )

  9. K. Marie says:

    This one has my vote. Maybe the Vatican should just higher Vincenzo from now on. It would certainly save everyone’s eyes the trauma…

  10. CarpeNoctem says:

    Maybe I’m spoilin’ for a fight and jumpin’ down a rabbit hole, but I’d like to see is an altar set up under a baldachin the front steps of Westminster Abbey underneath a sign that reads, “UNDER OLD MANAGEMENT”

    Benedict XVI is, afterall, the Pope of Christian Unity.

  11. ar_danziger says:

    Well said, Suburbanbanshee.

    Also, someone please, please photoshop a late Regency steampunk Catholic sanctuary!

  12. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Might the original design be some kind of misguided attempt to move one to compare young Tolkien’s statue of Beatus Henricus – of the Holy Father – with Sam Gamgee, by making the structure an evocation of Shelob (via Robert Frost)? (Probably not…)

  13. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Oops! “or the Holy Father”!

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