From Crystal Cathedral to Christ Cathedral

Street view of the new Christ Cathedral in Orange, CA

What are the symbolic, artistic, liturgical, theological, legal and very practical decisions to make in converting a sacred space designed for one faith expression into a sacred space for a different faith expression? You might be surprised.

Recently the LA Times offered some insight into these questions in their report, Changing faiths at the Crystal Cathedral (Rick Rojas, September 13, 2013).

The name has already been changed to the Christ Cathedral. But the work of liturgical consultants, priests and architects to transform a temple so closely identified as a symbol of Schuller’s sunny, uniquely Southern Californian theology into one that conforms to the traditions of the Roman Catholic Church has just begun.

“The exterior will always be the Crystal Cathedral, at least for a while,” said Duncan Stroik, a professor of architecture at Notre Dame and editor of the publication Sacred Architecture Journal. “Catholic on the inside, but kind of Protestant on the outside.”

Those who have taken on the project recognize that their assignment is a intimidating one, but they also have faith:

They can turn the Crystal Cathedral into the Christ Cathedral.

It is a fascinating story. It affirms our quest here (in the blog) and in the Sunday Morning Forum to ‘pay attention’ to our faith expressed in art and our faith shaped by art (in its many forms). What do you think?

Image: Mark Boster in the LA Times. Click the image to view more photographs of this project and of the history of the Crystal Cathedral.

Wind Chimes: 6 Mar 2013

With just the wind moving the chimes the melody constantly changes and is pleasant. Stick your hand into the chimes, or move the chimes yourself, and, well, its not so pleasant. What do you hear?

An understandable impulse with unfortunate dynamics

Members of the Sunday Morning Forum, including me, watch and wonder and pray as Roman Catholics (through the College of Cardinals) choose the next pope. It is a significant moment for Christianity, not just for the Roman Catholic Church. Today Religion News Service (RNS) reported on the handling of information from the cardinals now gathered in Rome prior to the conclave. The decision was made to silence all cardinals and offer media updates only through the official briefing of the Vatican.

By silencing each other I wonder if the cardinals have thus created the very dynamic they hoped to prevent: a generation of “more leaks, and more of the speculative pieces that annoy the cardinals.” (RNS) Here is the article: Cardinals move to plug leaks ahead of papal conclave posted by RNS on March 6, 2013.

Fun facts and historical notes

You may also enjoy this collection of stories and facts about popes and conclaves collected by RNS: Popes and conclaves: everything you need to know (posted March 3, 2013)