Monday, October 15, 2012

Church Restoration

One of our local parishes (I hate to remind my fellow Catholic earthlings that there are 5 Catholic churches within walking distance of my house for fear that I sound as if I am bragging) has recently been renovated.  Most of the time, when one says that, a look of horror in anticipation of a description of the "wreckovation" comes over the face of the listener, but in this case, the wreck was over, and renewal had begun.  The "old" church was redone in 1970, to specification that were outlined in no church document, ever.  The recent work is in fact called a "restoration" and the church truly has been restored.  Gone is the dark brown paneling (who ever thought that was beautiful?).  Gone is the hideous (and I mean hideous-looked like the Brady Bunch bread box) tabernacle placed waaaaaaay off to the side of the church.  Gone are the wooden table and lecterns.  In their place?  Just look at the photo.  It's gorgeous.  They say there was much resistance, but resistance is futile.

My youngest son was at the dedication Mass, and told us how lovely it was, but it is not our parish, so I had not visited until last Sunday.  I saw as I walked in that it was just beautiful and reverent...but then I saw--and I admit, I gasped and whispered the word guitar* to my son--the music ministress up in the sanctuary.  He reassured me as he saw the celebrant enter, that it would be worth it to hear this priest.  And he was correct.  I endured "Gather Us In" and Gloria with refrain, but heard a homily on the anniversary of Vatican II with emphasis on the documents, not the spirit, an exhortation to read these documents during the Year of Faith, an explanation of the restoration of the church, and more.  Worth it.

In contrast to this, the music, which nearly no one sang but the song leader, seemed like a series of protest songs.  They just didn't fit the setting.  I wonder if anyone else had that feeling.  And have they restored the organ, too?

*I have heard guitar played very well and reverently at Mass.  This was just a lot of loud strumming on two chords, and the music choices were dreadful.  My apologies to liturgical guitarists, but those of you who know what you are doing know what I mean.

1 comment:

Helenrr said...

Gorgeous. You are correct, how much longer will that poor guitarist bear being the one lone protester, er chanter... Perhaps he will be inspired?