Liturgy Corner - September 13, 2020 - The Courtyard: Entrance into God’s Building

Coming into the church courtyard, one gets the feeling of coming into a plaza. In many communities, where the church was the center of town (for example, Old Town Albuquerque), there was a plaza in which people gathered. The area was likely cobblestone or brick, or some
other hard, flat surface that allowed large groups to gather. The courtyard is a place to gather and greet others before or after liturgies. Greeting one another in the courtyard allows for quiet within the church for liturgies and quiet prayer. As one approaches the doors to our church, we see an image of an anchor. The anchor is an image of our parish patron, Saint Clement. He was the fourth pope and was martyred (as were most of the early popes). The political powers of the time wanted him silenced. They placed an anchor on Saint Clement and threw him into the sea where he died. The anchor was also an image of the early church during a time of persecution. Notice in the image of the anchor the image of the cross, a natural symbol of Christianity. Also an anchor is an image of steadfastness and shows how the Church united to Jesus provides stability to the life of the faithful. Notice as one comes into the church, the size of the doors. By using doors larger than normal, parishioners and visitors are provided with a sense of invitation and welcoming. This front door is the thresh- old from the worldly life (outside) to the heavenly life (inside). Gay Snell