You have a blank sheet of paper for a new building. Where do you start? Sunday Mass is obvious. Would you believe the Easter Vigil, too? Let’s read:
§ 49 § The celebration of the Eucharist is the center of the entire Christian life, both for the universal Church and for local faith communities. The other sacraments, like every other ministry of the Church and every work of the apostolate, are linked with the Holy Eucharist and have it as their end.(SC 10) The celebration of the Sunday Eucharist is the appropriate starting point for understanding the demands of space, sound, and visibility made upon a church building. An analysis of these requirements will include attention to the place for the congregation, for the preaching of the word, and for the celebration of the Liturgy of the Eucharist, with special care for the location of the altar, the ambo, and the chairs for the priest celebrant and deacon, as necessary. Considerations about the narthex and the environment of the building flow from the central action of the Eucharist. The celebration of the Easter Vigil and of the Sunday Eucharist are appropriate starting points. In addition, special consideration should be given to the place for the reservation of the Blessed Sacrament.
BLS 50 through 65 covers the provision for all the spaces within a church for the Eucharist. BLS 81 touches on the needs for the Easter Vigil–that discussion is still a few weeks away.
All texts from Built of Living Stones are copyright © 2000, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission.