At the risk of sounding shallow or overly critical – my church is ugly. I am fully aware that the physical architecture of the building has absolutely zero bearing on what takes place inside – but I have to admit, the number of small things I dislike about this church can be really distracting.
Let’s start with the exterior.
Is this a Catholic church, or Spacely Space Sprockets? Blech. Can’t stand it. The interior is no better.
Wow, where to begin. First and foremost, there is no tabernacle anywhere near the altar. I’m sure everyone has noticed that most Catholics genuflect (that is, get down on one knee) before entering the pew to sit down – we do this as a sign of adoration and respect for Christ’s body, present in the tabernacle. In this church, though, the tabernacle is not up at the front, it is in the rear, in its own little ‘chapel’ room. Again, yuck.
The overall style is very southwestern, which is to say – drab and dreary. It also annoys me to no end that the crucifix isn’t even centered behind the altar, it’s stuck off to one side (though I admit – that may be more of an OCD thing :P). And speaking of the crucifix – yep, you guessed it, my absolutely least favorite style. I find it difficult to call to mind the sufferings of our Lord when it looks like He’s flying off to join the rest of the Superfriends (here’s a closer up shot of the style).
I will say this though – I’ve never, ever encountered more comfortable kneelers than the ones at this church! I’m not an old man just yet, but my knees are in pretty rough shape, and I find it extremely difficult (usually impossible in fact) to remain kneeling as long as the 70- and 80-year olds around me. This place has like Tempurpedic kneelers or something, though, they’re really great.
So why am I so grouchy about all this? Well, here’s a picture of the first church I ever attended as an adult.
This is the interior of my second church (as it happens, about 2-3 miles from the first).
To me, those look like churches, and more importantly – they feel like churches. Majestic, almost gothic.
*sigh* I really miss New England.