Relevant Beauty

I’ve noticed in younger Orthodox Churches (I’m thinking of new missions, etc), both Eastern and Western Rites, a tendency to imitate the decorating styles of “the Old Country” – even when there is no Old Country.  We imitate their art and their architecture as if it were the only way to do things.  I just wonder why we do this.  There are ways to do things, modern ways of understanding beauty, both East and West… why do we cover our walls in imitation of someone else’s culture?  Yes, I know that at one time even western rite parishes (in Orthodox England, etc) were all covered in art, but now we think of beauty differently.  Our idea of honoring God with beauty needn’t at all imitate Tsarist Russia or Ottoman Greece and the Levant: unless our ideas of beauty are not good enough.

Catholic Monastery in France
Orthodox Church in Denmark

I love both these spaces in their ornate simplicity.  Our churches needn’t be Overstimulating Media Screens.

 Just sayin…

Author: Huw Raphael

A Dominican Tertiary living in San Francisco, CA. He is almost 59. He feeds the homeless as a parochial almoner and is studying to be a Roman Catholic Deacon. He is learning modern Israeli Hebrew and enjoys cooking, keto, cats, long urban hikes, and SF Beer Week.

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