Saturday, November 22, 2014

Restoring art to the purview of the Church. . .

Relevant magazine hardly sounds like the kind of forum that would be friendly to the idea of the Church as patron of arts, fostering the nobility of beauty in service to the Gospel.  But, surprise, surprise... you can read the article here on Five Ways the Church Can Make Great Art Again. . .

Some good news. . . In the same vein, coming up on the 151st birthday of the one who established the architectural firm which once epitomized the artistic vision of founder Ralph Adams Cram reminds us that the company is still in business, literally enjoying a renaissance of interest in church buildings of noble character, artistic vision, noble intent, and liturgical orientation.  Always good to know that we still have people who desire to build temples instead of warehouses in the Name of the Lord. . .
Not surprisingly, the 1960s through the 1990s were lean years for the company in terms of church architecture — they survived through private and corporate work. But the dawn of the twenty-first century signaled a return to the firm’s favored milieu. It began with a request in 2000 to restore Cram’s 1910 First Presbyterian Church in Far Rockaway, New York. More requests for help in refurbishing such “legacy” structures began to come in — and then entirely new commissions. Tellingly, a number of these were for Catholic parishes — a signal, perhaps, that the appetite for ugly churches has waned among us. Certainly Anthony, a Catholic himself, is overjoyed by this development.
And for a little fun. . .

How to translate the liturgical direction to be seated:

Mainline protestant
Please stop standing and sit down.
Please stop kneeling and sit up.
Please stop lying on the floor and return to your seats.
Please come down from the rafters and return to your seats.
Tent revival
Now that you all have Jesus in your hearts, you may leave the altar and return to your seats.
Once you've stopped chatting among yourselves, please feel free to find a seat. Whenever you're ready, folks, whenever you're ready...
A cruel joke (there are no seats).

Oh, you are already sitting.
Fresh expressions
An ironic joke (there are nothing but seats).
Oops. I can't believe I just said that out loud.
What an insensitive thing to say. Words like this simply perpetuate cultural stereotypes and the hegemony of able-bodied discourse. The congregation's constant uncertainty about whether to stand or sit is a small price to pay for our moral superiority.
Inner city mission
For pity's sake, Johnno, could you please stop heckling the preacher and sit down!
Rural parish
You can both sit down now.
School chapel
That's my final warning, boys.
Sunday school
Oh hell – they're starting to riot – oh hell – I've completely lost control

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