On March 4th, 2012, I went to four Catholic Masses in the City of Rome, and documented the worldine (path) people took to generate four maps. I was curious what the shape and patterns of the paths which emerged would reveal.
The four masses whose spacetime shape I documented in Rome
were the 10:00am in Chiesa Santa Maria dei Martiri (Pantheon), the
11:30am in il Gesu, the 5:30pm in Basilica Santa Maria di Trastevere and the 6:45pm Byzantine Rite in Basilica Santa Maria di Trastevere.
In the maps which emerge, the variation not only within the same
mass, but also across multiple churches, shows the particular forces that each Mass’s liturgy has been subject to as it moved through spacetime. The resultant morphology indicates how it has altered, mutated, drifted in response to the conditions it has faced on its journey to the present. Each liturgy has interacted with forces in the environment, such as the design of the church building, as well as with itself, through variations within the liturgy.
In common, all four masses show the existence of two genera of
worldline: the Clergy and Laity. These two genera differ significantly in their shape yet it is clear they participate towards the same end, in that they loop about each other, and move in a co-ordinated manner.
There are also different hierarchies visible within the Clergy’s path, each having a specific liturgical function.
More information can be found in Ariadne’s Thread.