Tuesday, June 12, 2012

THE CATHOLIC SANCTUARY, NOW AND NOW AND WHICH NOW INSPIRES A UNIFIED APPROACH TO LITURGY AND ART?

All I can say is YUCK! What a mess!Corpus Christi Church in Arizona, a multi-million dollar church that misses the mark:


And this one in a cheap Butler Building outside of Atlanta (compare and discuss)



19 comments:

Andy Milam said...

Considering that nowhere does the Church advocate what happened to the former picture, I can only surmise that it is yet another example of inept architectural design.

While I would like to think that it was done out of ignorance, it is hard to justify that after 40 years of having documents on the liturgy.

The former picture is a travesty. The latter is an example of modern architecture which is appropriate for Catholic worship.

Horizontal v. Vertical theology debate anyone!?!?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

What is really fascinating is that an arrangement of flowers is placed where the tabernacle traditionally had been placed thus giving this flower arrangement more emphasis than the Blessed Sacrament and its tabernacle that are off to the side in a very nondescript place. We've got to have stricter guidelines with minute details about how things are arranged. This must have been the case in pre-Vatican II times because even in the simplest sanctuary certain things were always observed.

Templar said...

I'm not so sure that stricter guidelines with minute details was always the case "back then". I think people took St Paul's admonishment to hold fast to what we have given you, writen and oral, and didn't us the lack of guidelines as an excuse to change things. The Enlightenment mentality now gripes everything. Man things he knows better in everything. Most times we find out after something is changed, that whether their were strict rules or not, the old ways make sense, and fit hand in glove with other ways of doing things.

ytc said...

What I wouldn't give to open up some volumes from the SCR...

Anonymous said...

Yeah, the first one really does encapsulate "YUCK!" For all of the lip service and blather about "Vatican II," even if only the so-called "Spirit" of Vatican II (poor Vatican II...), I'm not sure there's any excuse. If THIS is what some people come up with when given a million dollars, it really does invoke comments involving pearls and swine.

There's another thing that bugs me about more contemporary churches, or any church that has switched things up for a more contemporary "feel": why is the American flag, indeed, any flag at all in or at the sanctuary area? When we attend Mass, we do not bow before or worship the flag, we are subject to Christ, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, present in the Tabernacle. The best place for flags is at the entry of the church.

-WSquared.

Joseph Johnson said...

The "beige Church" of the 1970's and 80's lives on. .

The most disturbing thing about the first picture is the way the tabernacle is stuck over there in a niche in the wall (it reminds me of the cubbyholes in the front foyers of many older homes where the single black dial telephone was often installed--out of the way except when needed).

I agree that it shows some really mixed up visual priorities for the floral arrangement to be dead center under the crucifix rather than the tabernacle. I thought good liturgy (in the progressive mindset) has to have good "sign value." Better to center the tabernacle and place flowers on either side of it (if there are to be flowers). I don't really like flowers in front of an altar either as that is where the priest, really and rightfully, should be standing!

Father Shelton said...

I'm thinking of installing a mirror in the apse so I can offer Mass ad orientem whilst also, reflectively, facing the congregation. Or, maybe a large screen T.V. Father McDonald, please post more Modernized church images to inspire me.

Anonymous 2 said...

Obviously, the second church is far superior. However, I believe it is possible to do “minimalist” church architecture right, as those of us familiar with the Church at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, Georgia will attest (assuming it is the same as it was several years ago when last I saw it, assuming my memory is still serving me well on that point, and assuming that my aesthetic and theological sense is not misdirected).

Regarding the flag, I have long shared Anonymous’ (WSquared's) misgivings in that respect. However, when I asked someone about this a few months ago, I was told the flag is there to honor the sacrifice and service of our military. That is certainly a noble sentiment, irrespective of one’s views about particular military (mis)adventures. Up until then I had wondered what Caesar was doing at the front of the Church. Father, is what I was told correct?

rcg said...

We had some TVs up for a while to see if it helped the people in back see better. I went a political presentation at a large Protestant church once and they had jombotrons. Even in our laxness we are inadequate. But now we have the Crystal Cathedral. Top THAT, Jimmie!

ytc said...

Father Shelton, please tell me you are kidding. Those are heinous ideas.

Henry said...

"I'm thinking of installing a mirror in the apse so I can offer Mass ad orientem whilst also, reflectively, facing the congregation"

ytc, isn't this an ingeniously creative way of satisfying both those who are serious about Catholic worship, and those who have no clue what it is?

Father Shelton said...

ytc,
You just need to be more open to the 'spirit' of Vatican II (as opposed to the actual texts of Vatican II), which is the spirit of novelty, entertainment and defiant nuns. Just imagine how much support I would get from the LCWR for taking such an 'inclusive' step!

William B. said...

Are you kidding, Father? You think Corpus Christi in Arizona is a "yuck"?? You should see the outright ugly "kitchen table" churches here in suburban Michigan. Corpus Christi is simple, yet beautiful compared to the parishes in my town!!!

Here's a link to photos in the Archdiocese of Detroit. I'm sure you coulf d=find far uglier altars to put in your post than that Arizona parish, like this or this or this.

Anonymous said...

I'm not excited about the odd niche for the tabernacle in the top photo - I'd rather see it in a small chapel suitable for Eucharistic Adoration.

But - what's up with three sanctuary lights in the bottom photo?

Anonymous said...

Here in Oklahoma on April 20th, 2012 the dedication of Saint Eugene new church building. This is beautiful. Also in Edmond, OK St.Monic is another beautiful church building.
here is a link to a virtual tour of St. Eugene's
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LDGhxV-CJs&feature=player_embedded

Jody Peterman said...

The second picture is the SSPX Chapel in Atlanta?

Henry said...

Re the first photo ... I wonder how the sacred ministers feel, seated with their backs to the Tabernacle. Or whether the Tabernacle means all that much to them.

Joseph Johnson said...

Jody,
Yes, the second picture is the SSPX chapel in the Atlanta area. It was recently featured on this blog when Fr. McDonald visited there.

Your Friend (who does not live in a liturgical wasteland),

Joseph Johnson

Anonymous said...

I don't know, Anonymous2. It's a worthy thing to honor the country's fallen. But the sanctuary is where the holy of holies is kept.

This is the Mass, and the church is where we have Mass. Surely we can honor our dead elsewhere and even during Mass, but country and those who have given their lives can't come before Jesus. With the Novus Ordo especially (and this is something I do like about it), the procession up the aisle of the priests, deacons, lectors, and altar servers is meant to symbolize the journey of the soul. Heaven touches down upon earth at Mass, and nothing that happens at the altar happens due to the priest in his own person. We participate in the liturgy of Heaven.

The flags therefore still seem like a distraction, and should as such be left at the entrance of the church, and not put in or at the sanctuary.

-WSquared.