Built of Living Stones 143: Beauty Not Enough

Not only is beauty itself not enough, but the bishops stress that the church is not a storehouse for treasures:

§ 143 § Art chosen for the place of worship is not simply something pretty or well made, an addition to make the ordinary more pleasant. Nor is the place of worship a museum to house artistic masterpieces or artistic models. Rather, artworks truly belong in the church when they are worthy of the place of worship and when they enhance the liturgical, devotional, and contemplative prayer they are inspired to serve.

The standard for visual art would seem to apply in principle to liturgical music. Does art appeal to liturgy, devotion, or contemplation? If so, then it would seem to belong in a special way.

All texts from Built of Living Stones are copyright © 2000, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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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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