Thursday, March 31, 2011

Do beautiful churches inspire vocations?

Yes, according to Fr. Dwight. And why wouldn't they? Every little bit helps.
The modern churches we deem 'ugly' are usually designed from a utilitarian point of view. Modern architecture has taken as its creed Frank Lloyd Wright's dictum, "Form follows function." Therefore most modern architechts, when considering the building of a church will ask, "Where will everyone sit. What kind of an artificial sound system should we install? Where will the heating, air conditioning and toilets go? Where will the Sunday School rooms go? What about disabled access? Do we need elevators?" All these practical and utilitarian questions must, of course, be answered, but if they are the only considerations you will end up with a practical, inexpensive and ugly building. You'll end up with a building that is simply an auditorium.

Fr. Longenecker makes a distinction between beautiful churches (that cost a lot, but are worth the sacrifice), and ugly churches that are cheaply built. Far, far worse, is when you spend too much money building an ugly church.

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