When a group of Ritualists arrive in a parish church, they will usually begin by making relatively minor, cosmetic alterations to the chancel and changes to the order of service. At some point, however, a point will arrive when no more Romish accessories can be added to the church; the chancel has been completely filled with statues of saints and gold-plated bric-a-brac, and the air is thick with the sickening odour of sherry and stale incense. At this point the Ritualists will begin to attack the fabric of the church building itself, like termites.
The first order of business in renovating a church building along ritualist lines is the installation of a rood screen. One of the most degenerate relics of the Dark Ages, the rood screen is an ornamental frame mounted between the nave and chancel, for no other purpose than to block the parishioners’ view of the altar area. The ritualist’s ideal is a rood-screen made entirely of marble, surmounted by an enormous crucifix and completely covered by images of the virgin Mary.
Once Ritualists are able to install a rood screen, it is very difficult to extricate them from the parish, since the cover provided by the screen allows even a small group of priests to defend the chancel against an infantry attack from the nave.