Wednesday, June 09, 2010

A Small Church in Maine

I spent most of last week on vacation with my family in the somewhat foggy arcadia of Acadia National Park off the Maine coast, hiking, reading, writing, and reducing the local boiled lobster and fried clam populations. As when happened last year when I went up to Door County, I discovered some very fine local ecclesiastical architecture tucked in out-of-the-way corners as well. Admiring the buildings at a nature preserve may be a bit like admiring the antique silverware at a four-star restaurant, but then my photograph is probably in the dictionary next to the definition of "working holiday." I even own a book on the architecture of the Grand Canyon park service lodges, which has got to set some sort of a record in missing the point.

That being said, I went to a vigil mass at a very small if extremely healthy parish on the mainland, in Ellsworth, where I was very impressed with the humble if textbook-quality Liturgical Movement Gothic interior (possibly late 1930s or 1940s), complete to a hanging tester and beautiful little stained-glass lancets (and, it seems, a much newer though good marquetry-inlaid altar), and also heard what may have been the best homily on the Eucharist ever preached. Here are some photos I took before mass, for your appreciation and enjoyment. Such little parishes ought to be a model for us today, when everything, including classical churches, seems to get supersized.

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