Built of Living Stones 198: The Architect

The architect is a key person in a building project.

§ 198 § The architect, the primary agent of design, has an essential role in the building or renovation project. In choosing an architect, the parish will look for someone whose designs will embody the mysteries of the faith expressed and lived in the liturgical assembly. In addition to having the skills and exercising the appropriate standard of care required of a professional architect, those chosen to design church buildings should be able to

1. Create an environment by the use of space, sound, and visual aspects that will facilitate and encourage liturgical celebrations and the active participation of the faithful.(GIRM 288)

2. Give visual expression to aspects of doctrine and spirituality that words alone cannot adequately express, employing in their own designs, and requiring in those of others hired by them, the highest artistic standards for the inspiration, devotion, and religious formation of believers.(GIRM 289; SC 127)

3. Draw attention to and protect the significant treasures of the Church’s architectural and artistic heritage, whenever possible.

4. Be collaborative and willing to participate in the dialogue essential to the development of a building program that will fulfill the needs of the local Church.

5. Be sensitive to the financial realities of the parish and work within its budget.

Five good points.

On one, note the first includes “active participation,” the real hallmark of Vatican II liturgical reform. Not organic change.

Two, the “visual expression” of doctrine–a good image.

The others make for common sense.

All texts from Built of Living Stones are copyright © 2000, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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