With this post, we begin the final chapter of Built of Living Stones. Sections 170 through 261 should take us through two months of posts, more or less, and give us a look at the practical side of building or renovating a church building. “Building a Church: Practical Considerations” covers the topic of sections 170-171.
§ 170 § Having reflected upon the nature and purpose of a church, having reviewed the activities that take place within the worship space, and having considered the role and importance of the arts as part of the act of worship, we here address the actual task of building. This chapter examines the practical considerations such as who should collaborate in building the church, how to develop a master plan, what kind of educational process will be most helpful for parishes, and how to work with the relevant professionals.
§ 171 § Churches are built to be legacies to a community’s faith. Every parish community hopes that its space for worship will endure long after those who now pray there have joined the Messianic Banquet. Liturgical education is primary in the development of any parish’s plans for the future, since the building is an embodiment of the Church’s transmission of the Gospel. If built wisely and well, the building itself will evangelize the descendants of its builders.
This chapter will be footnoted somewhat less than the previous ones, and the concerns are less theological and more pastoral. Naysayers of bishops might use that as an opportunity to take license with what is presented here. But this part of the document was influenced by many practical consultants, and contains practical, if not theological wisdom.
All texts from Built of Living Stones are copyright © 2000, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission.