Friday, August 17, 2012

What Your Sanctuary Could Look Like

This could be just about any mission church in our diocese, I think! They all seem to have the same general motif, with an altar that has “1970’s” written all over it, and an altar covering that looks like a dining room table cloth. Generally some sort of "hanging" is added to the front of the altar to indicate the liturgical color of the day. 

But with just a little effort and cost, a humdrum sanctuary like that can be transformed  into something a little more appropriate. 

Is there any doubt about which arrangement looks more regal? Is there any doubt that the transformation adds a sense of reverence and awe that is completely lacking in the “normal” set-up? Is there any doubt that Something Very Special is going to happen at that transformed altar?

The thing is, it could look like this every day of the year. Having a tastefully appointed sanctuary should be something to strive for even in the smallest parish or mission church. Let's remember that this is the temple of the Lord, and that the Real Presence is there in the tabernacle. Surely the King of the Universe deserves the best!

Just about any parish could accomplish what is pictured above, and the cost is minimal. It is really not that difficult to make an antependium like the one shown; and while the fabric might come at a high price per yard, if the parish seamstresses are convinced to undertake the project, the cost can be kept to a hundred dollars.  Matching mini-antependia for ambos can be created at a minimal cost, too. In addition, very majestic-looking candlesticks can be acquired at a cost much less than you might expect. The secret? Buy those decorative resin candlesticks that are meant to hold a large (3"-4" diameter) votive candle, and paint them with gold spray paint. There are various ways to adapt them to accommodate a 3/4" diameter candle.

Sadly, it seems that the typical parish sanctuary in our diocese looks childish and cheap. Why do we do that to Our Lord and Savior?

No comments:

Post a Comment