Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Andrei Sacred Space and " Iconic" Buildings

The "heritage" discussion is forefront and center in Christchurch after the destruction wrought by last months earthquake.

And top of the list is the Anglican Christchurch Cathedral which when mentioned always has the qualifier "iconic" preceding its name.

Another, mentioned as appropriate for restoration is Catholic Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament.

A comment on a previous post alludes the future of the Anglican Church asks

I note that I haven't heard a single person who wants to restore the ChristChurch cathedral actually quote a motive that involves it's actual purpose. Very sad

Something I had noticed myself.


And a response of sorts to that comment from one of the usual suspects

scrubone, what purpose? As a tourist destination, souvenir shop and cafe?

And that my friends is a very valid question to the concern raised by Scrubone, the original commentator.


Temples are for prayers and worship, they are not Disney World attractions, nor suitable venues for secular debates or concerts. But this is what some of the great Churches have become.


Here is a rebuilt Cathedral Christ the Saviour, demolished not by an Earthquake but by Stalin. Rebuilding began almost immediately with the fall of communism and a wonderful job has been accomplished, prayer never ceases in this Church as the holy offices of the day a recited day and night although in a smaller chapel rather than the main body of the Cathedral on weekdays. And this is the model I would like to see followed.

One more Church to give guide, a new one in this case, still under construction in the photograph Saint Benedict's Chapel,Chesapeake, Virginia.

The Parishioners here have worshiped for many years in rented halls but raised the money to build this Holy Church. And this is a Church where reverence prevails, the women for the most part wear chapel veils and the Mass is in Latin. The congregation for the most part consists of families and there is not a tourist in sight, visitors yes, there to worship which is what a Church is for.

1 comment(s):

Seán said...

Hi Lucyna - a topic close to my heart, I despise the "touristisation" of cathedrals - whatever the denomination.

In Chch it is true that the Anglican cathedral has become commercialised with the addition of the visitors centre but at least it is outside the cathedral. I would like to think that when they have mass, the commerce is put aside. I am sure that is the case.

Of course I am biased but I think that the Catholic cathedral should actually be more of a tourist attraction - a magnificent basilica - despite its inferior location. In fact it is more impressive than any other Catholic cathedral in NZ. Sadly, it is a write-off due to the earthquake but Gerry Brownlee has promised to rebuild it (along with Anglican cathedral, arts centre and provincial chambers). I certainly hope so, I was baptised there.

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