Design a church for the people:
§ 33 § The Church is a holy people, a chosen race, a royal priesthood, whose members give thanks to God and offer the sacrifice of Christ. Together, they take part in the liturgy conscious of what they are doing, with reverence and full involvement. They are instructed by God’s word and nourished at the Table of the Lord’s Body; they are formed day by day into an ever more perfect unity with God and with each other—they are sent forth for the transformation of society, so that finally God may be all in all. And by offering “Christ, the Victim, not only through the hands of the priest but also together with him,” they learn to offer themselves.(GIRM 95)
Some might shrug and say that no matter what the characteristics of the setting for Mass: chapel or cathedral, field or gym or living room or catacomb, the effectiveness of the Eucharist depends on God’s grace, not the setting.
I think it is important for those building, designing, and renovating churches to be aware of what is important in liturgy. And that a building, though very important, is a setting for a deeper vitality. Keep these theological truths of BLS 33 at the forefront, and any project will be fruitful.
All texts from Built of Living Stones are copyright © 2000, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission.