325. As in the case of the building of churches, so also regarding all sacred furnishings, the Church admits the manner of art of each individual region and accepts those adaptations that are in keeping with the culture and traditions of the individual nations, provided that all are suited to the purpose for which the sacred furnishings are intended.[Cf. Sacrosanctum Concilium 128]
Suitability is a subjective judgment. We’ll continue the discussion of inculturation in future posts on this Part. For now, it’s enough to say that the Church admits a wide range of furniture design, assuming the overall effort is harmonious with the aims of liturgy.
In this matter as well, that noble simplicity should be ensured which is the best accompaniment of genuine art.
326. In choosing materials for sacred furnishings, besides those which are traditional, others are admissible that, according to the mentality of our own age, are considered to be noble and are durable, and well suited for sacred use. In the Dioceses of the United States of America these materials may include wood, stone, or metal which are solid and appropriate to the purpose for which they are employed.
Wood is underrated as a noble substance.
Perhaps you readers have more to say on this. My biggest beef is with a lack of overall quality in the furnishings of churches. I’ve seen paper rendered more artistically than gold in some circumstances. You all?