Moving the Furniture
As we begin the new liturgical year and the season of Advent, I would like to move the furniture a bit. The way our church was onstructed allows for rearranging the furniture at times. I hear that in the past it was common to rearrange all the chairs. I just want to move one: the presider’s chair.
First, I would like to remove the platform upon which the chair stands. It takes up a lot of room and does not give much space for the Eucharistic Minsters to gather. I feel awkward giving them Communion standing three steps above them, but there is no room to go down and stand at the same level. It also feels awkward moving from the chair to the altar when I have to go down one-half step and up three.
To me, the platform makes the Presider’s Chair appear too throne-like and separate from the Assembly. In moving the chair, I would like to emphasize its relation to the Assembly, being in the midst of the Assembly. I think I am tall enough to be seen without standing on the platform. In fact, I may be the tallest pastor you have had.
In moving the presider’s chair, we will also move the cross from in between the altar and chair to behind the altar, emphasizing the relationship between the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross and the gift of the Eucharist.
I would also like to highlight the altar a bit more by moving the candles and some of the plants from right next to it to a few feet from it. As those lovely plants grow, they are beginning to obscure the altar a bit.
These visual differences will mark the change in the liturgical season. I hope it may deepen our sense of what we do at Mass. Nevertheless, if it does not work, we can always rearrange the furniture again for the next liturgical season.