Monday, November 21, 2011

Establishment of Liturgical Art and Sacred Music Commission as part of CDW?

This seems worthwhile to post now, rather than waiting until tomorrow. (Thanks to a reader tip for sending this in.)

This comes from Andrea Tornielli, and, for what it's worth, what I can tell you is that about a month or two back, I was myself first given wind of something of this sort being established in these areas. At the time I chose not to publish it, but given that Tornielli is now speaking of it, I think it has enough substance to be worth sharing.

Here is the relevant excerpt.


New Vatican commission cracks down on church architecture

The new commission will be established shortly, as part of the Congregation for Divine Worship. It will also be in charge of music and singing in the liturgy


A team has been set up, to put a stop to garage style churches, boldly shaped structures that risk denaturing modern places for Catholic worship. Its task is also to promote singing that really helps the celebration of mass. The “Liturgical art and sacred music commission” will be established by the Congregation for Divine Worship over the coming weeks. This will not be just any office, but a true and proper team, whose task will be to collaborate with the commissions in charge of evaluating construction projects for churches of various dioceses. The team will also be responsible for the further study of music and singing that accompany the celebration of mass.

Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Benedict XVI, consider this work as “very urgent”. The reality is staring everyone in the eyes: in recent decades, churches have been substituted by buildings that resemble multi purpose halls. Too often, architects, even the more famous ones, do not use the Catholic liturgy as a starting point and thus end up producing avant-garde constructions that look like anything but a church. These buildings composed of cement cubes, glass boxes, crazy shapes and confused spaces, remind people of anything but the mystery and sacredness of a church. Tabernacles are semi hidden, leading faithful on a real treasure hunt and sacred images are almost inexistent. The new commission’s regulations will be written up over the next few days and will give precise instructions to dioceses. It will only be responsible for liturgical art, not for sacred art in general; and this also goes for liturgical music and singing too. The judicial powers of the Congregation for Divine Worship will have the power to act.

If this comes to pass, it certainly is very important news indeed.

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