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During the summer, I ran across an excellent thread in support of old, beautiful churches — glorious structures built to honour GOD rather than an architect.

Anyone who has worshipped or still has the good fortune to worship in an old church will appreciate this thread:

The thread concludes with this (emphasis mine):

The fact of the matter is that traditional architecture is more environmentally-friendly, conveys beauty, truth, and goodness to the uneducated & educated alike, & points us to heaven. You shouldn’t need an architect to explain why his creation is beautiful. Beauty speaks [for] itself.

I could not agree more with everything this gentleman has written.

During my Catholic days, I remember old churches being stripped of beautiful statuary and structural features. They were closed for renovation, which we thought entailed repairing plaster and repainting damp patches. What an unpleasant surprise we received in the late 1960s and early 1970s when those churches reopened.

Years later, I had the good fortune of attending an Episcopal church built in the 19th century and designed by, oddly enough, a Catholic architect. No matter what, the priest cannot turn to the people to celebrate a Communion service. There is not enough space between the steps leading to the altar and the marble floor to install a new altar permitting the minister to face the people.

I do hope that church committees, including clergy, do leave old churches as they are. Sadly, even then, many have had to close over the years. I enquire after various Catholic churches I attended during my youth. Most have been boarded up. Either the congregations attending have died off over the years or the new, larger communities of faithful attending them have not had enough money to maintain the building.

Regardless of what some Protestants think, the object of a church for many through the centuries has been to a) honour God in the manner of the first temple and b) bring the laity to contemplate Heaven — therefore, to become more Christlike in this life.

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