So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter (2 Thess. 2:15). Guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the godless chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge, for by professing it some have missed the mark as regards faith (1 Tim. 6:21-22).

Saturday, April 30, 2016

New church building: Saint George, Baton Rouge, LA

With an anticipated opening at Christmas of this year, A.D. 2016, the construction of the new Saint George parish church appears to be on schedule.

The church will hold 1,200 parishioners, and include a chapel which will fit an additional 120 people. Exterior courtyards are designed at both the main entry and the chapel entry to encourage community interaction. This simple, yet elegant design is a collage of transcendental Christian motifs veiled within the fabric of historic religious archetypes, the Gothic Arch.GraceHebert Architects
The arch motif is most definitely... prominent, giving the building a muscular feel or feeling of solidity and permanence, which are desirable traits. The tall arches provide ample vertical space, which is highly desirable in Catholic architecture. Verticality conveys the transcendent God. Furthermore, the tall ceilings convey well the vault of heaven. The good news—the cruciform design has been retained. The thrust sanctuaries commonly employed render the Latin cross floor plan into a tau cross (... Franciscans will be happy). As a result, the apse is highly compressed. Is there a central tabernacle, or does the day chapel double as an "adoration chapel"? By the look of things, there is plenty of space at the base of the sanctuary crucifix to place a centrally located tabernacle.

The choir "area" is off to the right side of the sanctuary from the perspective of the congregation. Unfortunately, the sound is likely to be trapped under the low ceiling making for an uncomfortable experience for any confident choral group. To project the sound into the nave, amplification will almost certainly be required. The cantor's position appears to be an afterthought, little more than a music stand located at the foot and to the side of the sanctuary. Gone are the days, it seems, when churches were routinely designed with choir lofts that make perfect use of the natural acoustic and allow choirs to work "invisibly". Choirs placed adjacent to the sanctuary inevitably provide activities which distract from the primary foci of the Mass—the ambo (Word) and the altar (Sacrament).

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