Coming Up: Built of Living Stones

While the fires are still warm from the church and altar dedication rites, I thought it appropriate to tackle a related document. In 2000, the USCCB issued Built of Living Stones (henceforth BLS), expanding on and replacing the 1978 Environment and Art in Catholic Worship.

BLS will be a substantial undertaking: it has 261 numbered sections and a ton of footnotes. Where it cites liturgical law, it is an authoritative document for the universal Church. Where it cites USCCB particulars, it covers the situation for the United States. It quotes other documents and also offers original material. We’ll comb through it all, as soon as I’ve secured permission to reprint sections of the document for our examination.

A preface (BLS 1-11) is followed by Chapter One, The Living Church (12-45). Subtopics include The Living Church: God’s Building, The Church Building, Worship in Time and Space, Christ’s Presence in Sign and Symbol, and Liturgical Principles for Building and Renovating Churches.

Chapter Two (46-139) will also concern us deeply, giving background on particular aspects of Church architecture. Chapter Three (140-169) covers art and artists. The final chapter treats “Building A Church: Practical Considerations,” and contains most of the “advice” of the US bishops.

While we examine BLS, I’m open to other documents on music, but I think we’ll wait till we’re done–probably 2013–to tackle Sing To The Lord.

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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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2 Responses to Coming Up: Built of Living Stones

  1. Oh my inner church nerd is alive and well, because when I read this I reacted with more joy than I might care to admit!

    Of course, in this crowd, no one will find me too off-beat for being so interested in such things. Will they?

    I have studied this document in a course I took from Richard Vosko, my first class in grad school. (His name, when known, generally inspires respect or horror – little in between.)

    A group of us at my home parish have spent a lot of time with it as we consider master planning options and our worship space.

    Looking forward!

  2. Great! Looking forward to it!

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