Title: Tabulae cum portis, vela, cortinae and sudaria : remarks on the liminal zones in the liturgical and para-liturgical contexts in the Late Middle Ages
Tabulae cum portis, vela, cortinae a sudaria : poznámky k liminálním zónám v liturgických a paraliturgických kontextech v pozdním středověku
Source document: Convivium. 2019, vol. 6, iss. Supplementum, pp. -133
ISSN2336-3452 (print)2336-808X (online)
License: Not specified license
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In the Middle Ages, an altar and its retable had a distinctly liminal status. The altarpiece defined and delimitated the place of the Eucharist and the transubstantiation of the host to the Corpus Christi. In addition, the lateral altar curtains served similarly to the winged retable, as is documented by numerous illustrations from the period. The dogma of transubstantiation is thus essential to an altarpiece's being a liminal zone. At the onset of the early modern era, this is indirectly confirmed by Lutheran altarpieces, which, unlike Catholic or Utraquist retables, function practically as abolishers to liminality. The liminal function of the medieval altarpiece manifests itself also in the dramatic performances accompanying the Mass proper during the great liturgical feasts, especially during the Easter in the Officium visitationis sepulchrum. The liminal property of the altar, and of Christ the Savior in the three days leading up to His death, are underlined by, among other things, the ephemeral and provisional nature of the liturgical textiles used in the performance of the office.