Many a day of our lives, we, Estela, my wife and I, have spent, stumbling along roads of Christendom, finding jewels of great splendor and beauty, hitherto unknown to us.
When I hear "Tantum, Ergo", a beautiful piece of Gregorian Chant, composed by the Dominican Monk, father of Scolastical Theology and author of the Summa Theologica, Thomas Aquinas, I realize that I am in the presence of a melodious, but clear and easily understandable introduction to the Mystery of the Eucharist as understood by Catholics for centuries.
The main entrance and bronze doors of Il Duomo di Orvieto
This Mystery of the Eucarist includes the philosophical and theological concept of the Transubstantiation.
The cast bronze doors portray the 7 acts of corporal mercy.
Back in my days of formation in a Catholic Seminary, we would go to bed at 9:00 pm (because we would wake up every morning and take a shower at 4:45am). On Thursday evenings, we would rise again, at 10:40, and we get dressed again, and go down to our Chapel, starting our "Holy Hour" at 11:00 pm. The Holy Sacrament, in the form of a host, is removed from the tabernacle, and set in the Monstrance for everyone in the Chapel to behold and to adore. The Holy Hour is intended as an act of expiation, and thus, an act of Love towards Jesus Christ. (The very idea of expiation in our hedonistic culture today is as foreign to us as it is misunderstood, and often confused with masochism.) At the end of the hour of meditation, we would chant Tantum Ergo, and I can still remember the smell of the incense we offered up to the Corpus Domini in the closing moments of the adoration.
The four columns of the façade reveal the highlights of the Old and New Testament
The right corner column of the façade offers a synopsis of the Last Judgment.
The bottom corner of the right-hand column of the façade gives a terrific view of Hell.