Sunday, March 25


A Homemade Lenten Array

While I do not have the talent of Shrine friend Lucy for putting up home feastday altars, I do have a nice little shrine in my apartment, consisting of a wall-shelf with two red-glass candlestands and a small portable replica of the Ghent Altarpiece. I'll post a shot of it one of these days. (Incidentally, my nameless fourth-floor walkup apartment has finally gotten a name, Monsalvat, after the mythical Grail fortress. My logic is that like most castles, it's chilly in winter, it's a long climb to the top like most mountains, and an affordable apartment in Manhattan like mine is about as rare as the Grail itself...)

Now that I have a real home altar to serve as a focus for devotion, I'd given some thought to veiling it during Lent. I have no purple bedsheets, for obvious reasons, so the only thing I could use was a large white bedsheet. It made perfect sense in this case to resurrect the old Sarum custom of the off-white Lenten Array, though perhaps without the red stencilwork. The Lenten Array was up throughout all of Lent, but the current Roman custom is to keep the veils off until the fifth week of Lent--today. Plus, while fasting from images is a worthy devotional practice, I'm not going to stare at a white bedsheet for forty days. So this afternoon, I prayed a little, put up the Lenten Array, and got ready for Passiontide.

Maybe a bit of an affectation, but I think it has a certain dignity.

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