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.