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L’AMENAGEMENT LITURGIQUE DU CHEVET DE LA CATHEDRALE DE NOYON

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Author(s): STÉPHANIE DIANE DAUSSY

Journal: Agathos : an International Review of the Humanities and Social Sciences
ISSN 2069-1025

Volume: III;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 83;
Date: 2012;
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Keywords: Noyon | liturgy | sanctuarization | sacred space | rood-screen | Saint Eloi | canopy | altar | sacred relics | Christological symbols.

ABSTRACT
The example of Notre-Dame of Noyon illustrates the process of sanctuarization and, in its case, its adjustment to the liturgical and historicalreligious evolutions of the building. Thus, the chevet was at first conceived according to a liturgy which provided a larger space to the Chapter, whose liturgical choir expanded into the nave, of reduced dimension for the faithful. The most sacred space of the altar was highlighted by the architectural treatment of the first bay of the choir. The stained glass windows, no doubt, diffused a diaphanous light which offered a paradisiacal view of the sacred space of this place. Secondly, in order to enhance the importance of the sacred relics preserved in the cathedral, and in order to ensure his religious authority, the bishop and the Chapter wished to magnify the sanctuary and, therefore, to modify it. A new setting was designed to highlight the sacred relics, the Christological symbols, while the color of the paintings reinforced the symbolic luminosity of the embodied God. At the same time, the aim being that of encouraging pilgrims in their walking towards and into the cathedral, the liturgical choir was pushed backwards to the crossing to leave more space to the faithful in the nave. The openwork choir screen also favored the visibility of the sacred relics that the pilgrims went toward. Thus, two distinct periods of the religious history of Noyon determined two types of sanctuarization.

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