Re: Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churches
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I understand and agree with all of what you said – except I never said that the priest was delegated by the community to exercise a special function.
Brian, my apologies if I misunderstood your meaning. My concern about the expression “special ministry” is this: nowadays the term is applied very easily not only to priests, deacons and the instituted ministries of acolye and lector, but also to musicians, flower-arrangers, ushers and so on. Like the question of applying “People of God” to the Church, one can certainly apply “special ministry” to priests, but one has to complete it in order to account for what is specific to the priesthood.
On the question of the Church, I would agree with the idea that the church building should reflect our understanding of the Church as Vatican II presents it, especially in Lumen Gentium. In addition to what I said earlier, it could be added that the Church is on a pilgrim journey and that it embraces the community of the saints in heaven. Traditionally, the sanctuary is seen as heaven, the place where God dwells, and by setting it apart as a place of special beauty, something of the notion of heaven is communicated. Similarly statues of the Virgin Mary, the angels and saints, give some idea of the communion of saints in heaven with whom we are in constant contact (they intercede for and protect us).
All of this no doubt represents a particular challenge to the church architect who wants to make of the church building an image or icon of the overall understanding of the Church.
What do you think?