Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Macedonia 03 - Roman Catholic Cathedral

Mr Z took SPC C and me to visit the Roman Catholic Cathedral in Skopje not long ago. The old cathedral had been destroyed in the 1963 Skopje earthquake, and a decision was made to build the new cathedral on another site. Like the Orthodox churches I've seen in this part of the world, the Catholic Cathedral has a very large, free-standing bellfry.

The interior of the building is suffused with light from the many windows, and the high ceiling and scooped roof communicate a sense of upward motion.

I'd have loved to have heard the organ, which has a nice case (but who knows if it's even used?). Unlike the Orthodox houses of worship, the Catholic churches in the Balkans all have pews, so that's one way to distinguish who's who in these parts, if there were ever a question.

One can see echoes of the dominant Orthodox influence even here in the Catholic Cathedral, in terms of the icons of Jesus and Mary which front the lecterns in the sanctuary. Very lovely, actually. I'm particularly fond on icons.

The Blessed Sacrament is reserved to one side of the nave at the front of the worship space.

A small chapel off to one side of the building serves as the place where daily Mass is celebrated. The very helpful nun who showed us around demurred when I asked her whether I could take her picture, so alas! I have no photograph of her.

Blessings and peace to one and all,

Fr. Tim, SJ

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