Tomorrow, Good Friday, is the tenth anniversary of my priestly ordination, at least in terms of the civil calendar, ie 14 April. In liturgical terms I was ordained on Sabbato in albis, ie the Saturday within the Octave of Easter, which will be 22 April this year. Keeping this liturgical dating will allow for a more festive recollection and thanksgiving.
Yet, the Day of the Cross is not such a bad one to have even such a modest anniversary. The priest is ordained precisely to renew and re-present the sacrifice of the Cross. On the more micro, or personal, level there is no doubt that priesthood brings a special set of trials and sufferings, even for those not in pastoral ministry (and maybe even especially, as we have fewer consolations of the flock). No doubt also, I have been a cross to others. So a fitting day.
As soon as I emerge from the Triduum, and get a certain manuscript completed, I plan to read this book which came today. Dom Hans van der Laan was a Dutch Benedictine monk, an architect and a designer of furniture and vestments, and a teacher of architectural and design theory, especially his concept of the plastic number, a 3D elaboration of the Golden Number.
He designed the abbey church and its fittings, as well as monastic furnishings, for the monastery of Vaals in Holland. It is modern and austere, but it is not modernist despite what might be your initial reactions. The Vaals church is based on the basilica form. There is more much to his work than meets the eye at first sight. It reflects, I am keen to confirm, his profound understanding of monastic liturgy and the architecture that allows it to speak. You may hear from me about him in the future.