Sacrosanctum Concilium 124

Ordinaries, by the encouragement and favor they show to art which is truly sacred, should strive after noble beauty rather than mere sumptuous display. This principle is to apply also in the matter of sacred vestments and ornaments.

Nobility versus sumptuousness in art and vestments: does this judgment apply in parishes? By the way, what I see in the pope’s vestments seems to lie closer to nobility. That old pictures of Tridentine servers in pastel capes: that seems a bit over the top.

Let bishops carefully remove from the house of God and from other sacred places those works of artists which are repugnant to faith, morals, and Christian piety, and which offend true religious sense either by depraved forms or by lack of artistic worth, mediocrity and pretense.

This is another tough call. Mediocrity and pretense might not be what they seem. If you have plaster cast to look like a stone sculpture, that would seem to be pretending of a serious sort.

And when churches are to be built, let great care be taken that they be suitable for the celebration of liturgical services and for the active participation of the faithful.

Architects taking “great care” for participatio. That’s a thumbs up, wouldn’t you say?

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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