Rorate Caeli

Ordinary - Extraordinary: an extraordinary Main Altar at the Mariawald Abbey Church

Our readers are quite aware that the Trappist Abbey of Mariawald, in Heimbach (North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany), was one of the very few institutions in the world to make use of one of the potentially most powerful words in the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum (art. 3) and became exclusively dedicated to the pre-conciliar Liturgy and customs of their venerable and glorious order.

Though questioned by the Abbot General of the Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance at the time, the matter was finally confirmed by the personal intervention of Pope Benedict XVI according to many reports.

On September 6, 2012, the new main altar was installed in the abbey church of this community dedicated exclusively to their ancient rites and customs.

Traditional Mass celebrated in the old new-style altar
(1963/1964 Volksaltar - People's Altar):


New ancient-style altar (French-speaking region, 1800s):


[Source: Abtei Mariawald. Tip: Le Forum Catholique]

8 comments:

UnamSanctam said...

The first one's an IKEA kitchen table from c.1973.

The second one is a Catholic altar.

A small green shoot sprouts amongst the rubble of the modern Church. May God grant us several million more.

However, having listened to a number of long radio talks given by Fr. Malachi Martin on youtube, I find his opinion, that the last fifty years has seen the Church crowned with thorns and scourged at the pillar, but still awaits its crucifixion, persuasive.

May God forgive us for our sins and lack of piety and restore in the Church all things in Christ without any further suffering!

Benedict Carter said...

The first one's an IKEA kitchen table from c.1973.

The second one is a Catholic altar.

A small green shoot sprouts amongst the rubble of the modern Church. May God grant us several million more.

However, having listened to a number of long radio talks given by Fr. Malachi Martin on youtube, I find his opinion, that the last fifty years has seen the Church crowned with thorns and scourged at the pillar, but still awaits its crucifixion, persuasive.

May God forgive us for our sins and lack of piety and restore in the Church all things in Christ without any further suffering!

Father Anthony Cekada said...

Can anyone enlighten us on what the 1964 ‘Usus’ di Monte Cistello is?

It's mentioned in one of the links.

B. said...

The Usus of Monte Cistello is the adaption of the Trappist Rule from 1964. It is fully conformant with earlier versions, but takes into account necessities of the modern time, such as when it is allowed to use a telephone.
It also regulates how the convent mass is celebrated. The regulations for the convent mass does not take into account the rubrics of 1962, despite being published later.
The complete usus can be found in "Against all Reason" by Geoffrey Moorhouse.

Gratias said...

The Trappists of Mariawald got it exactly right making full,use of Summorum Pontificum and setting a new precedent.

As a young man I visited Maria Laach, Germany. Walking through the woods early in the morning mist I heard the most beautiful melody I had ever listened to. It was Gregorian chant. Finally I reached the source of the chant, a Benedictine Abbey. Upon my return I naïvely asked my German hosts: why are they singing so early in the morning? Their answer went something like this: they are singing praises to The Lord because the farmers, not having the time to do it themselves, pay the monks to do it. It was a beautiful fall morning and it made me so glad to be a Catholic.

May the Trappists of Mariawald receive many blessings for doing this for the Church.

Malta said...

The first one's an IKEA kitchen table from c.1973.

The second one is a Catholic altar.

A small green shoot sprouts amongst the rubble of the modern Church. May God grant us several million more.


Same thoughts, Sir, and VERY clever!

GQ Rep said...

It is my understanding that a return to Catholic tradition and the use of the Tridentine Latin Mass and restoration of the old Trappist disiplines and practices actually saved this place from extinction/closure.
I saw some photos of the monks of Mariawald BEFORE they returned to the Traditional Mass and disiplines, and the average age most have been close to 80, as it is in most Trappist monasteries in Europe and the USA. Out of about 15 monks, there were only 2 (the new Abbot included), who looked less than 50!
From what I have read, since the re-introduction of the Tridentine Latin Mass etc, there has been a rebirth of vocations at Mariawald (not a flood of vocations, but a steady flow).
Does anyone know for certain? I know there was a profession ceremony for this year posted on YouTube.

I believe nearly all Trappist monasteries will be gone in the next 10 years. World wide, they are down to about 1,650 monks (4,400 before Vatican II).
Remember the great USA Abbey of Gethsemani...? 250 monks all thru the 1950's up until 1963-64, with an average age of 34.
Today, about 30 monks in residence with an average age of 73 (and about 12 others in hospitals or professional full care nursing homes). Sad, very sad.
God bless Mariawald with many vocations.

wsxyz said...

GQ Rep: I believe there has been a good number of young men interested in Mariawald, but most of them don't stay very long. The traditional Trappist lifestyle is very difficult for most people these days to get used to.