Beauty and Liturgy: A Program for the New Evangelization
For many Catholics worshipping on a regular basis, the experience of liturgical beauty is noticeably absent from their lives. Churches, rather than eliciting awe and wonder from the worshipper, are too often designed as monuments to suburban banality. The narrative of salvation, once tangible and substantial in mosaics, frescos, and statuary, is traded in for bare walls and empty spaces. The highest standards of musical excellence relative to composition sometimes give way to mere sing-ability. Preaching and liturgical presiding can be performed clumsily. The problem with such inattention to liturgical beauty is not merely a concern of the aesthete; rather, a liturgy without beauty stifles the joy of the Gospel itself.
So what do we do?