Sunday, September 25, 2005

Children and churches

Just received my copy of the Journal of Sacred Architecture. This is publication that lifts my spirits. They are not pre-Vatican II, but are rooted in the Tradition, with really sharp sensibilities. They feature some amazing church buildings as well as the worst disasters. Just one of the great things that are happening at my Alma Mater.

When I have time (!) I want to write to them about church architecture and children. Why, in this "populist" era of church architecture, is no one talking about the way that children learn about their faith in church? Children can't read and the really small ones don't pray (at least like we do) but they see everything, from the color that father is wearing to the stained glass windows that I miss because I am busy taking care of them! In our parish church-in-the-round, there is, thank God, one beautiful crucifix. But there are no side altars, no place to take the kids after mass to say a quick prayer to St. Joseph or a patron saint. The church in town here is an even worse disaster--the tabernacle looks like a wooden crate. I am not rabid about these things. We love our parish and our pastor is phenomenal, but I feel that my job as a parent and the primary teacher of my children is compromised when I can't point to pictures and statues when I am teaching my children about the Passion or the Blessed Mother or the Trinity.

Children are totally concrete. They need the gold and the ornamemtation. They love it and they crave it. And so should we.


Blogger Barb, sfo said...

You are so right!
I have particularly noticed this with my little one (age 3 1/2) as we changed parishes right around the time he was born. This one has stained-glass windows depicting saints, and other "church-related" items such as chalices, rosaries, fish, the Cross, Paul's boat....There are statues all around, bells at Consecration (Pay attention! Jesus is here!) The little guy soaks it all up like a sponge. It's wonderful!

4:59 PM  

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