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  1. 1. Introduction St. Aloysius Catholic Church in West Allis, Wisconsin, was founded in 1920. Thecurrent church building was built in 1956. Brust and Brust were the architects and,along with designing St. Aloysius, they designed about 60% of the area’s churches from1950-1970. Bernard Gruenke, of Conrad Schmitt Studios, was the liturgical consultant.1 The majority of the population of St. Aloysius is composed of the elderly and theworking poor. There are also many middle-class young singles and families and BabyBoomer families. Since 2004 originally eight, and now seven parishes of West Allis andWest Milwaukee have been supporting two school sites for Mary Queen of SaintsCatholic Academy. The anticipated enrollment was 500, but the highest it has everreached was 328, achieved in its the first year. Since then enrollment has been steadilydeclining. Therefore, it has become no longer financially feasible to continue to supporttwo buildings.2 According to the school website, “Meitler Consultants conducted a data study toassist in choosing the best location to stabilize, strengthen and sustain our quality1 Information gathered from Fr. Jeff Prasser, current pastor of St. Aloysius.2 Meitler Consultants, Data Study: Mary Queen of Saints Catholic Academy, (2010), 3. 1
  2. 2. 2Catholic education in West Allis and West Milwaukee.”3 Meitler Consultants afteranalyzing all data recommended a one-school site.4 There were three school buildingsunder consideration where the school could continue, and in March of 2010, it wasdecided that it would continue at the Greenfield site located at St. Aloyius starting in theFall of 2010. No matter what decision is made, there is bound to be both positive andnegitive feedback, but our hope is that this will help our school – and our parish -- to bestronger in the future. The study analyzed data regarding the church, as well. In 2008, St. Aloysius had920 registered parish families, 24 infant baptisms, 14 First Communions, and 49religious education enrollees.5 In the past year, there have been five weddings and 47funerals.6 St. Aloysius currently has four weekend masses: one on Saturday afternoon, twoon Sunday morning, and one on Sunday night. As music director, I am responsible forplanning liturgies and providing accompanying music for three masses, preparing thechoirs, training cantors, and preparing a worship aid for the congregation. An additionalContemporary choir and its director are responsible for the Sunday night liturgy. Themembers of this choir have their own instruments and equipment that they set up andtake down each weekend. The director prepares a worship aid exclusively for this3 Mary Queen of Saints Catholic Academy, “Home Page,“ http://www.mqsca.org/ (accessed Mar. 10,2010).4 Meitler Study, 21.5 Ibid., 7-8.6 Fr. Jeff Prasser.
  3. 3. 3liturgy. The parish has at least one communal penance service a year and Stations ofthe Cross each Friday in Lent. There is Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament everyTuesday and on the first Friday of every month. Since July of 2008 six pastors have been present to serve the seven parishes ofthe area. The West Allis parishes are Holy Assumption, Immaculate Heart of Mary, MaryQueen of Heaven, St. Aloysius, St. Augustine, and St. Rita. St. Florian is the only parish inWest Milwaukee. All the pastors serve one parish, except for our pastor and associatepastor who serve St. Aloysius and St. Rita. The pastor at Immaculate Heart of Mary willbe retiring within a year, the pastor at Mary Queen of Heaven’s term will expire, and wehave begun to consider how our parishes will collaborate in the future. Since 2005, St. Aloysius has been collaborating with Mary Queen of Heaven andImmaculate Heart of Mary to host a joint Confirmation liturgy in the spring. In 2008, St.Rita and the other parishes were also invited to participate. In 2006, a youth ministerwas hired at Mary Queen of Heaven and also began working at St. Aloysius, then in needof someone in this role. Our Religious Education Director works at both ImmaculateHeart of Mary and St. Aloysius. The current school sites have full-time staff at each site. Collaboration in the future could take many forms, but it will continue to bemore necessary as time passes and needs arise. For example, one area underconsideration would be to have one Director of Worship serve St. Aloysius, Mary Queenof Heaven, and Immaculate Heart of Mary. Additional musicians would be hired asneeded for liturgy. The three parishes currently serve the west side of West Allis, so a
  4. 4. 4similar collaboration could be inauguarated for the east side of West Allis and WestMilwaukee. A second proposal has been put forth. In this proposed collaboration, six toseven parishes would work together with one Director of Worship for all of the parishes.This would be a much more encompassing position, requiring a secretary for thedirector. Again, additional musicians would be hired as needed for liturgy. As our area parish leaders look to the future and consider possiblereconfigurations of personnel and new uses or modifications of current buildings, ourpastor feels it is an appropriate time to consider what is needed by way of modificationof our worship space. There are many areas of St. Aloysius’ worship space and adjacentareas that could be adapted to serve the congregation better. In this project, I will focuson three areas in need of renovation: the baptismal font, the gathering space, and thespace for musicians.
  5. 5. Chapter 1: A Place for Baptism From the earliest documents of the church it is clear that baptism is a vital partof the Christian faith. The earliest treatise on baptism, written at the end of 2 nd centuryby the North African theologian, Tertullian, notes that “thanks to our sacrament ofwater, by washing away the sins of our early blindness, we are set free and admittedinto eternal life.”7 He calls us the little fish who must follow after Jesus, the big fish(ichthus): “But we, little fishes, after the example of our ΙΧΘΥΣ Jesus Christ, are born inwater, nor have we safety in any other way than by permanently abiding in water…”8The second-century church manual, The Didache, includes instructions about baptism:“Baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Matt 28:19), inrunning water.”9 Cold, running water is the preferred kind of water, according to thisdocument.10 According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, baptism is “the basis ofthe whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit (vitae spiritualis ianua), and thedoor which gives access to the other sacraments.”11 These are just a few of thenumerous documents that have commented on the importance of this sacrament.7 Tertullian, On Baptism, “Chapter I. Introduction. Origin of the Treatise,” http://mb-soft.com/believe/txv/tertullt.htm (accessed Mar. 9, 2010)8 Ibid.9 Aaron Milavec, The Didache: Text, Translation, Analysis, and Commentary (Collegeville, Minn: LiturgicalPress , 2003), 19.10 Ibid.11 United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, "USCCB - Catechism of the Catholic Church," par. 1213,http://www.usccb.org/catechism/text/pt2sect2.shtml#art1 (accessed March 18, 2010). 5
  6. 6. 6Since it is such a vital part of the faith, it would stand to reason that the place where it isdone is just as important. The Bible presents two significant images of Baptism that have influenced theshape of many baptismal fonts and pools: the images of dying and rising and of being re-born. In his Letter to the Romans, St. Paul writes: “Or are you unaware that we whowere baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? We were indeedburied with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from thedead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we havegrown into union with him through a death like his, we shall also be united with him inthe resurrection.” (Romans 6:3-5)12 A second image comes in the gospel of St. John,when the evangelist has Jesus saying: "Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter thekingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of flesh is fleshand what is born of the spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I told you, You must beborn from above. The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes,but you do not know where it comes from it goes; so it is with everyone who is born ofthe Spirit." (John 3:5-8)13 Because of these New Testament images, many creators ofbaptismal fonts and pools have worked symbolically with the images of womb or tombas shapes being appropriate for a baptismal font or pool, as articulated by manyscholars including Regina Kuehn.1412 Donald Senior, John J. Collins, ed. The Catholic Study Bible: The New American Bible (New York: OxfordUniversity Press, 2006), 1502.13 Ibid., 1409.14 Regina Kuehn, A Place for Baptism (Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications, 1992).
  7. 7. 7 Lutheran liturgical scholar S. Anita Stauffer developed a helpful chart that showsthe progression and history of the sizes and shapes of spaces for baptism, from runningwater, to pools, to fonts. In the first three centuries of the Common Era, baptismpreferably occurred wherever living (running) water was available. As the rites ofinitiation became more elaborate and the Elect entered the water naked, specialbaptistries were built that were attached, detached, or loosely connected to churches.15The baptismal pools were built in the ground. Many were able to be walked throughfrom one side to the other. Walking from one side of the water to the other wasunderstood as a symbolic action, an image of the Israelites’ journey to freedom andJesus’ journey from death to resurrection.16 In the West, adult baptism was most oftencelebrated and usually occurred at the Easter Vigil.17 Early baptisteries and fonts took many different shapes that symbolized anunderstanding of baptism as related to death and resurrection with Christ. Hexagonalfonts symbolized the sixth day, the day of Christ’s death. Octagonal fonts symbolizedthe Eighth Day, the day of resurrection. Cruciform fonts symbolized the victory of theresurrection. 18 Rectangular shapes symbolized the tomb, and circular shapessymbolized the womb and re-birth.19 Early fonts were large and held abundant amountsof water. They could be up to 25 feet across in width and several feet deep. Baptism15 S. Anita Stauffer, "Space for Baptism" Reformed Liturgy & Music 19:4 (Fall 1985), 174.16 S. Anita Stauffer, Re-Examining Baptismal Fonts: Baptismal Space for the Contemporary Church(Collegeville MN: Liturgical Press, 1991), Videocassette.17 th Ibid., 174. In the East, baptism was associated with the Feast of Theophany (January 6 ).18 Walter M. Bedard, The Symbolism of the Baptismal Font in Early Christian Thought (Washington:Catholic University of America Press, 1951), 38-41.19 Stauffer, 175.
  8. 8. 8was by immersion, with the presider pouring water onto the candidate’s head while theperson stood in the water.20 From the 6th to 8th century, Stauffer notes that adult baptism decreased whileinfant baptism increased, ultimately making infant baptism the norm. Fonts no longerneeded to be large enough for adult immersion and moved from baptisteries to fonts inthe church itself, usually by the entrance. These fonts were large enough for immersionof infants. From the Middle Ages until the present, baptismal space has “deteriorated bothfunctionally and symbolically.”21 Affusion (pouring) and aspersion (sprinkling) of waterover the candidate’s head became the practice for baptism. Fonts became smaller andsmaller with less and less water.22 Covers for the fonts were introduced and became sohighly decorated that eventually the font covers became the visual symbol instead ofthe water.23 In her video presentation, Re-Examining Baptismal Fonts: Baptismal Space forthe Contemporary Church, Stauffer suggests three things that a church’s baptismal fontshould be today: a container for living water, large enough for immersion of adults andinfants, and a visual statement of burial in Christ.24 She also states that the water20 J.G. Davies, The Architectural Setting of Baptism (London: Barrie and Rockliff, 1962), 2.21 Ibid., 176.22 Ibid., 69-70.23 Stauffer, 176.24 Ibid.
  9. 9. 9should be visible and tangible, because it is the central symbol.25 Unfortunately, manychurches’ fonts fall short of these suggestions. Another Lutheran liturgical scholar, D. Foy Christopherson, in his book A Place ofEncounter, points to Principle S-8 of the ELCAs principles for worship: “the place andpractices of baptism proclaim the church’s faith. A generous space around flowingwater reinforces the meaning of baptism for the assembly.”26 To truly understand themeaning of baptism there needs to be abundant water, and the assembly must bepresent to fully participate.27 Christopherson states the importance of having the fontnear the entrance of the worship space. Here, it can be “a powerful witness to thissacrament as our entrance into the community and gives us encouragement to return tothe font regularly.”28 Roman Catholic liturgical design consultant Richard Vosko states the importanceof having the baptismal font located between the entrance and the altar space. In thisposition, the baptistery serves as a “distinct transitional space or passageway. Thisbridge between the two spaces is not a corridor but a spacious and wide promenade.” 29It also needs space around it for people to gather around it.30 Vosko states that the fontmust be large enough for immersion. Its largeness and use of moving water reenforces25 Ibid., 177.26 D. Foy Christopherson, A Place of Encounter Renewing Worship Spaces (Worship Matters) (New York:Augsburg Fortress, 2004), 37.27 Ibid.28 Ibid, 38.29 Richard S. Vosko, Gods House Is Our House: Re-imagining the Environment For Worship (Collegeville,Minn: Liturgical Press, 2006), 81.30 Ibid.
  10. 10. 10the font as a powerful symbol. He suggests that an older font could be part of a newlarger font.31 This was done in Milwaukee’s cathedral when it was renovated in 2001, pictured left. The baptismal font in the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Milwaukee is shaped like a tomb and “points from the darkness of the west to the rising sun in the east, its three steps a reminder of Christ’s three days in the tomb. On axis with the altar, it directs us to the place where we gather for the nourishment we need to live out our baptismal covenant.”32 It is 24-inches deep and made ofgranite and marble. The upper font was part of the renovation of 1943, and water flows fromthe upper font into the pool below.33 Richard Vosko reenforces the idea that an important focal point for the churchshould be the font. It is “a crossing where the Christian embraces and is embraced bythe life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The living water is a reminder of thedeath we died and the life we live, a constant presence to the church as we gather anddisperse.”3431 Ibid, 82.32 The Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, "Virtual Tour of the Cathedral,"http://www.stjohncathedral.org/tour/baptistry.htm (accessed March 18, 2010)33 Ibid.34 Vosko, 79.
  11. 11. 11 Built of Living Stones, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ documentpublished in 2000 that deals with new construction and renovations of church buildings,states four criteria for designing a baptismal font: one, that it be large enough to holdenough water for immersion of infants and adults; two, that the congregation shouldparticipate in baptisms (whose participation is determined by where the font is located);three, that its location should demonstrate the relationship between baptism andsacraments; and four, that a private space should be prepared for neophytes to use fordressing immediately after baptism at Easter Vigil.35 Of course, many fonts built beforethe year 2000 do not fit these criteria. The font in my parish, St. Aloysius, is one of them. In an article, Pastor Ronald J. DeHondt asks other pastors, “How’s your fontworking?”36 If he asked me about our parish font, I would have to say, “Not very well.”The font at St. Aloysius represents what a font of the early 20 th century typically was: abowl on a pedestal. There are many other area churches that have this same kind offont. It is useful for infant baptisms, but it is only useful for adults if the presider dripswater on their heads from the water in the font. Unfortunately, this font is attached toa wall and is not free-standing. For many years our font remained unused, because it was impractical. Despitethe awkwardness of our wall font, a few years ago our pastor resurrected it by cleaningit up, and he started using it once again. A portable small pedestal font was alsoacquired at some point, and for many years this font was used for the baptism of infants35 U.S. Catholic Bishops - Committee on the Liturgy, Built of Living Stones: Art, Architecture, and WorshipGuidelines of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, (Washington D.C.: United State CatholicConference, 2000), no. 69.36 Ronald J. DeHondt, "Hows Your Font Working?" Liturgy 90 27:4 (May/June 1996), 10-11, 14.
  12. 12. 12instead of the permanent wall font. For the Easter Vigil, one of two different sizedplastic tubs was brought out. This temporary arrangement worked fine, since we onlyhad one or two baptisms each year, and some years we did not have any. Typically, alarge black tub was used. The Elect would kneel in it and have water poured over them.I have only witnessed a submersion baptism once using this tub. That individual trulywas an example to the assembly of dying with Christ as he gasped for air coming out ofthe water. At the Easter Vigil in 2009, the Elect, a mother and daughter, chose to usethe permanent baptismal font with water being poured on their heads while they werestanding. Our font is useful for infants, but if every font should be useful for bothinfants and adults, ours is surely not working very well at all. DeHondt challenges communities like my own to be aware of our call to die andrise with Christ and use rituals that symbolically speak of this paschal mystery. To dothis, one would have to have a font large enough and with enough water for someoneto potentially drown.37 I have seen very few baptismal fonts that meet this challenge. In order to truly understand what our current font looks like and how itfunctions, below are some photos with descriptions.37 Ibid, 11.
  13. 13. 13 The position of the baptismal font is pictured above. It is made of marble andbuilt into the wall. Four years ago, we began having votive candles, and they wereplaced on either side of it. At that time, the font was not in use. Now, when baptismsoccur monthly on Sunday afternoon, the Easter candle is moved over to the wall fontand the families gather around -- after the parishioners lighting candles or praying haveleft the area, that is. As you can see, the area is very limited. The piano is also stored in this areawhen not in use. During combined Confirmation masses when our church hosts, thecombined choir sits in this area, because there is no where else to put all the singers.
  14. 14. 14 Below are closer photos of the font itself. The sacramental oils are displayedabove it. The second photo shows what the font looks like on the inside with the lidremoved. The current position of the baptismal font is not by an entrance. Since it isbuilt into the wall, it cannot be moved. If we tried to move it, it probably would crack or break in parts. In sum, this situation is not helpful because the font is in the middle of a tight space and is off to the side. It is not a focal point of the church, as a contemporary baptismal font is meant to be. The space it is in is very small, and when family members gather around the font, the area can seem crowded. It would be impossible for even a small part of the entire congregation to gather around in this area for baptisms. This font only accomodates the baptism of infants or the Elect who wish to have water dripped on their head. It is simply a bowl on an immovable pedestal. When the Elect are to be
  15. 15. 15baptized at the Easter Vigil, other temporary tubs are brought out. There is no livingwater in this font, and water needs to be placed in it when it is used. There are a few options that our parish leaders might consider to improve thissituation. One option is to use what we currently have and expand it so that it canaccommodate both infants and adults. This would require an additional task of fillingthe current font and finding a way to circulate water through it to filter into the largerfont. It would be a beautiful way to show the old serving the new, as other churcheshave done. However, this would only make an inadequate, awkward situation worsethan it already is. Another option could be to build a new font elsewhere, such as a gatheringspace, that is large enough for immersion. In this way, those who enter would bereminded of their baptism, and our baptismal font or pool would be a prominentsymbol. Instead of being on a wall off to the side, our baptismal space would be alwaysvisible and would remind those that enter of their baptismal call. This font could includea pedastal font and an immersion tub -- of some appropriate symbolic shape -- toaccommodate both infants and adults.
  16. 16. 16 A few examples of fonts can serve as a model for our consideration. One example can be found at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Hales Corners, WI. This church was renovated in 2003, andthe font is pictured above. The octagonal pedastal font directs warm water to flowdown into the immersion font for adults. It is located by the church’s main door andleads directly into the worship space. Another example is found at Immaculate Heart of Mary in West Allis, WI. This church was renovated in 2001 and has a round/cruciform font. It has a large immersion font for adults, and a pedastal font for infants. It is pictured here without water because the photo was taken
  17. 17. 17during Lent, but it has water in it every other part of the year. It is located at theentrance of the church, near the gathering space. A third example can be found at St. Stephen’s Catholic Church in Oak Creek, WI. This church was built in 1847, but was re-built in 2009 when they moved to a new location. Thiscruciform font, pictured above, has a pedastal font for infants from which flows waterdown into the immersion pool for adults. In each of these examples, baptism takes place in a defined space specificallydesigned for initiation. It serves to remind the entire community how important thissacrament is as “our entering into the death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ, andthereby into the holy, priestly community of God.”38 It is more than just something thatis pushed off into the corner. Baptism deserves a place of prominence to remind us ofits importance to our faith. Ideally a baptismal font or pool should be located at or nearthe entrance to the worship space, but sometimes this is simply not possible. Wherever38 Richard Giles, Re-Pitching the Tent: The Definitive Guide to Re-Ordering Church Buildings For Worship(Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 1999), 167.
  18. 18. 18it can be located, the water ideally should be assessible to all to remind us of ourbaptism when we enter the space. At St. Aloysius, there are holy water fonts at the entrances (which are on boththe west and east sides of the church), but the congregation otherwise has littleconnection to the baptismal font. Our font is covered and empty all the time exceptwhen a baptism is about to occur. I doubt most people even realize we have one or thatwe use it. A few years ago I truly believed we did not have a permanent baptismal font.The only one I saw used was small portable font for infants and large portabletemporary wading pools for adults. I can only imagine the difference it would make forthe congregation if they could truly experience a baptismal font as it was meant to beexperienced, with its flowing waters and its prominent presence.
  19. 19. Chapter 2: A Place for Gathering Article 288 in the 2003 edition of the General Instruction of the Roman Missalstates that for the celebration of the Eucharist the People of God gather in a church orother respectable place.39 Churches must be suitable for the sacred action and toenable active participation by all.40 The worship space itself must be suitable to theliturgical action, but the place we gather before and after liturgy is also very important.The People of God who gather for Mass have a “coherent and hierachical structure”which is shown through different kinds of ministries and liturgical actions. The buildingmust convey “the image of the gathered assembly and allows the appropriate orderingof all the participants.”41 Built of Living Stones has a section on the gathering space, also known as thenarthex. It is a “place of welcome,” physically located between the sanctuary andoutside of the church. It is a place to gather and also to enter and exit the building. As39 U.S. Catholic Bishops, Article #288, General Instruction of the Roman Missal (Washington, D.C.: UnitedStates Conference of Catholic Bishops, Inc., 2003). Afterward cited as GIRM.40 th “Sacrosanctum Concilium: Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy,” in Liturgy Documents Volume 1, 4 ed.(Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications, 2004), no. 124.41 GIRM, Article no. 294, Ibid, 90. 19
  20. 20. 20individuals enter the space, they exit the outside environment of their lives and enterthe environment of liturgy and then return to their lives upon leaving.42 In the early Christian house churches, the courtyard – or atrium – served thepurpose of gathering. In the early 4th century after the Edict of Milan, huge rectangularbasilicas originally used for governmental or civic purposes were adapted for Christianuse. When churches were no longer located near natural outside gathering spaces,basilicas were often near the city center or public markets, a place where people gathered and socialized,.43 Throughout history, the concept of having a gathering place in front and, later on, within the church continued to develop. One key example of a gathering place is the piazza of St. Peter’s in Rome, pictured left. The architect Gian Lorenzo Berninidesigned this courtyard in the middle of the seventeenth century and sought to“embrace Catholics so as to confirm them in their faith; heretics, to reunite them to thechurch; and infidels, to enlighten them in the true faith.”44 St. Peter’s may be an extreme example, but it provides a model that can beadapted to other churches. Marchita Mauck suggests that a church’s gathering place is42 Built of Living Stones, no. 95.43 Marchita Mauck, Shaping a House for the Church (Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications, 1990), 10-11.44 John Rupert Martin, Baroque (New York: Harper and Row, 1977), 151.
  21. 21. 21designed in a way that it “elicits from the participant an anticipation of what is to comeand facilitates the gradual assimilation into the larger group.”45 In other words, thegathering space can facilitate our becoming the Body of Christ we are called to be. 46 Many public places, such as shopping malls, have design principles that inviteand encourage interaction. They have sufficient area, a focal point, paths, human scale,ease of movement, visual richness, and variety.47 The scale is much different in a mallthan in a church, but some common design aspects can be considered. Both placesdraw people in and then send them back out into the world. After making this comparison, Mauck then goes on to present some specifics forchurch gathering spaces. First, the size of the gathering space needs to be large enoughin relation to the assembly’s size. This can be as large as at least one-third the area ofthe worship space. Second, the gathering space should be related to the other parts ofthe church, and it is vital that it be on a main path. Third, the quality of the spacedepends on: the nature of the light; the nature of the materials; sound and noisecontrol; whether it is used for over-flow seating; whether it includes a kitchen, storageor restrooms; hospitality versus security; degree of adaptability, multi-use and cost.48Every church’s gathering space is going to be different, depending on what it is used forand what the space available is.45 Ibid, 14.46 Ibid.47 Ibid, 17-20.48 Ibid, 22.
  22. 22. 22 Mauck states the importance of providing a gathering space that “makes visiblethe significance of the coming together of the whole church for worship.”49 Gatheringfor worship identifies us as a Christian assembly.50 Our gathering spaces must allow allto participate and gather together in worship. Richard Vosko states that worship begins even before the congregation entersthe building. The physical spaces, such as parking lots and sidewalks, are also importantspaces to consider. All these spaces are sacred and represent “sacred journeys thathave occurred or will occur there.”51 Therefore, every part of the building – inside andoutside – must be inviting and welcoming.52 He cites elements that are important for a gathering community. Pathways leadto places of worship. “A path leads to a portal, which is at once a place of arrival and aplace of departure that opens the way to another path.”53 One major barrier-freeentrance should lead everyone – whether physically able or disable – to and through thegathering place to provide the same gathering experience for all involved.54 Other elements of gathering that factor into whether a church building isexperienced as welcoming include one simple sign, landscaping outside the building,appropriate lighting, the plaza, artwork, meditation or memorial garden, bells and bell49 Ibid, 23.50 Ibid.51 Vosko, 71.52 Ibid.53 Christopher Stroik, Path, Portal Path, no. 10 in the Meeting House Essays (Chicago: Liturgy TrainingPublications, 1999), 32.54 Ibid, 71.
  23. 23. 23tower, thresholds, easily opened doors, one common doorway, glass that permits a viewinto the worship space, and support spaces.55 Whether or not some of these elementsare present will depend on the space available inside and the outside the building. If abuilding is near a main street, a plaza may not be possible for example. Vosko states the importance of the church commons. It is “the gathering place,an interior space we pass through (with time to linger) as we come to and depart fromour worship and other events.”56 It serves as an extended pathway from outside to theworship space. It draws us into the very center of the building. It is designed toaccommodate different projects that the congregation takes part in, but should not lookcluttered. It demonstrates that the people are very involved with different activities.57 Anglican liturgical design consultant Richard Giles also devotes a chapter of hisbook to a discussion of the importance of the gathering place. According to Giles, thepurpose of it is to “provide a ‘hearth’ around which the community of faith can gather,relax and feel most at home.”58 Just as many homes have a fireplace in the gatheringplace, some churches today also have this feature in their gathering spaces. Hospitalityis the key to success in a gathering place.59 Through the gathering place, the community enters the worship space. Here,“welcomes are made, greetings completed and books given out, before entering the55 Ibid, 72-78.56 Ibid, 77.57 Ibid.58 Giles, 161.59 Ibid.
  24. 24. 24assembly for a period of quiet reflection before worship begins. The gathering spaceprovides a transition to silence.”60 In creating a gathering place, we can help people feelcomfortable by having the best materials, a comfortable setting and superior lighting. The gathering space at St. Aloysius is very limited currently. There is a commonsarea, seen in this photo below, but this is a very narrow space. Here are some photos toshow what the current situation is otherwise for our gathering. Pictured left is the commons area by the handicapped- accessible entrance. St. Aloysius has two main entrances, and this photo shows that the area is very narrow. There are three doors from the outside on both the west and east sides of thechurch. Each leads directly ahead to a wooden door, which leads to the worship space.60 Ibid, 163.
  25. 25. 25 The main doors on the west and east sides of the church lead to the center aisle of the church. Within the marble walls of this area on the east end are two restrooms, a reconciliation chapel, and an usher’s storage room. The west end isalmost identical, except that there is a cry room instead of reconciliation chapel.Pictured here is the main door passageway on the east side. Inside, the current amount of space between the back walls and pews is verylimited. Earlier this year, the pastor removed the back row of pews, and re-locatedthose pews to the commons area. Once a month, the congregation gathers for Hospitality Sunday in this newly-opened area on the east end of the church. A few parishioners bring in baked items and juice. Coffee
  26. 26. 26is brewed on-site. After the Sunday masses on this weekend, this area can becomequite crowded. Pictured here is the set-up for Hospitality Sunday on the eastern side. The west end of the church has an identical set-up, but the table is used by aparent from the school to sell Scrip gift certificates, and occassionally this becomes thespace for the location for other displays. The tables have also been used to put outfliers, calendars, and other items for parishioners to pick up as needed. This adapted gathering space is not adequate for many reasons. First, space isextremely limited. It works fine for the gathering of ministers before liturgicalprocessions, but if there needs to be more people than a few in the area it gets verycrowded. Two years ago when we hosted a combined Confirmation liturgy, there wassimply not enough room to line up all the candidates for their procession. Second, the church does not have one main entrance as the authors havesuggested there should be. There are two side entrances. No matter how we changethe space, this fact cannot change. We can take steps to create a gathering space, but itwill only gather people to one side of the church. We have space on each side in theback, but there is not one place through which the community can gather before orafter mass. There are multiple places. The Roman Catholic rites related to adult initiation and funerals state the waysthat the gathering space is to be used in these rites. In the Rite of Acceptance into theOrder of Catechumens, “the candidates, their sponsors and a group of the faithfulgather outside the church (or inside at the entrance or elsewhere) or at some other site
  27. 27. 27suitable for this rite.”61 This indicates that the preference is for having a space forgathering where the rite begins. The Rite of Baptism for Children includes the reception of the children at agathering space. The celebrating priest or deacon goes to “the entrance of the churchwhere the parents and godparents are waiting with those who are baptized.” 62 Thisreception at the entrance applies for individual children and groups of children and alsooccurs at the start of the Rite of Bringing a Baptized Child to the Church. In the Order of Christian Funerals, the introductory rites begin at the door of thechurch. Here, the deceased is sprinkled with Holy Water, the pall is placed on thecasket, and then the “minister and assisting ministers precede the coffin and mournersinto the church.”63 This same procedure is used for the Vigil for the Deceased withReception at the Church and for Funeral Mass. At St. Aloysius, we are not able to perform these rites as they are prescribed.One of our former pastors had funeral masses begin at the back of the church, but thispractice has not been consistant. Only a few infant baptisms have taken place duringmass, and the ones that have did not start at the door. It is difficult to judge the reasonsfor these discrepancies, but having a place to gather would probably help the rites to bemore consistently performed.61 “Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, ”The Rites of the Catholic Church Volume 1, Study Edition.(Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1990), no. 48,62 “Rite of Baptism for Children,” Ibid., no. 35, 74, 107, 132, and 165,.63 “Order of Christian Funerals,” Ibid., 48.
  28. 28. 28 The leadership of St. Aloysius has a few options to consider that might providethis needed ritual gathering space. One option would be to remove pews from the backof church on the eastern side of the church. Daily mass, masses with small attendance,funerals, and most weddings all take place on this side. This side is also handicap-accessible with a straight sidewalk that leads to the street. This is also the side that isused for coffee and baked goods each Hospitality Sunday. Another option is to the remove pews from the back of church on the westernside of the church. On this side there, is located the only street parking available for thechurch that is close to this entrance. The only other parking lot available is quite adistance down the street on the opposite side of the church. Although there are manystairs on this side, it is where most people sit. Removing pews from either side seems to be the only option because of theconstruction of the building. The walls are marble, and above each entrance is abalcony, so it would seem to be impossible to take out these walls to expand that way.On the other side of the walls are also established rooms for various purposes, so againthis makes expanding this area challenging. A few examples of gathering spaces can serve as models for our parish’sconsideration of future solutions.
  29. 29. 29 Pictured left is the larger space at the entrance of St. Stephen’s in Oak Creek, WI. On the other side of the glass is a very large commons area, including a kitchen/dining room, the church office, a coatroom, ameeting room, and a chapel. The baptismal font is at the entrance, and it is surroundedby quite a bit of open space. This would allow many people to gather around the fontfor baptisms or to gather before or after mass. The entire church is handicap-accessible.Although the altar is up on a few steps, there is also a ramp that leads up to it in theback. Another example is found at Immaculate Heart of Mary in West Allis, WI. IHM is a basement church and originally one had to go down several steps to get to the worship space. One of the goals of their renovationwas to create a gathering space, pictured above, because they had never had this
  30. 30. 30before. The entrance is now on the main level of the parking lot and the gatheringspace leads into the worship space by steps and a ramp. The baptismal font is at theentrance to the worship space. The baptismal font has much space around it. One sideof it leads into the worship space, and the other leads to an outdoor butterfly gardenthat is also a gathering space. This is the door, outlined in stained glass, which bridesenter from for weddings.
  31. 31. Chapter 3: A Place for Musicians Music ministry is a ministry that is very important for liturgy. It is of the “highestimportance in the celebration of the divine mysteries.”64 Therefore it is vital thatliturgical musicians and their space in the church interior be valued and in the bestposition for them to exercise their ministry well. Music “unifies those gathered toworship, supports the song of the congregation, highlights significant parts of theliturgical action, and helps to set the tone for each celebration.”65 The General Instruction of the Roman Missal includes a short section on seatingfor musicians. It quotes the liturgical document Musicam sacram by stating that “thechoir should be positioned with respect to the design of each church so as to makeclearly evident its character as a part of the gathering community of the faithful fulfillinga specific function.”66 From this position choir members should be able to fullyparticipate in the Mass.67 Regarding the organ and other instruments, they should be in64 National Conference of Catholic Bishops, “Order for the Blessing of An Organ,” in The Book of Blessings(New York: Catholic Book Publishing Company, 1989), no. 1325.65 National Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishops Committee on the Liturgy, Music in Catholic Worship(Washington, D.C.: United States Catholic Conference, 1983), no. 23.66 Sacred Congregation of Rites, “Musicam sacram: Instruction on music in the Liturgy”http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_instr_19670305_musicam-sacram_en.html (accessed Mar 20, 2010), no. 23.67 Ibid. 31
  32. 32. 32a location where they can “sustain the singing of both the choir and the congregationand be heard with ease by all if they are played alone.”68 Regarding liturgical space for musicians, “[T]he choir and organ shall occupy aplace clearly showing that the singers and the organist form part of the unitedcommunity of the faithful and allowing them best to fulfill their part in the liturgy.”69Cantors and song leaders also need to be able to see the music director and to be seenby the assembly. The ministers are to be part of the assembly and to be heard bythem.70 The choir should also never “crowd or overshadow the other ministers in thesanctuary nor should it distract from the liturgical action.”71 In 2008, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops released the liturgicaldocument Sing to the Lord: Music in Divine Worship.72 This document draws from andadds to several previous documents and has five main sections: Why We Sing, TheChurch at Prayer, The Music of Catholic Worship, Preparing Music for Catholic Worship,and The Musical Structure of Catholic Worship. In section three, The Music of Catholic Worship, the location of musicians andtheir instruments is addressed. They “should be located so as to enable properinteraction with the liturgical action, with the rest of the assembly, and among the68 GIRM, no. 313.69 Sacred Congregation of Rites, “Inter oecumenici: Instruction on implementing liturgical norms”http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_instr_19670305_musicam-sacram_en.html (accessed Mar 20, 2010), no. 97.70 GIRM, no. 294; Music in Catholic Worship, 33-38.71 Built of Living Stones, no. 90.72 U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Sing to the Lord: Music in Divine Worship. (Washington, D.C.:United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2008).
  33. 33. 33various musicians.”73 As noted in Built of Living Stones, it also states that their locationmust allow them to be able to fully participate and being able to see and hear theliturgical action.74 Their placement should show that they are part of the worshipingcommunity, but also able to serve in their ministry.75 Vosko presents a chapter on music ministry, instruments, and acoustics in hisbook. He states four roles of the musicians: to support the assembly, to sing hymnswith new energy, to sing antiphonally, and to perform musical selections that theassembly does not sing. He also reiterates the church’s guidelines that music ministersare part of the assembly and should not be separated from them.76 Regarding the location for the music ministry, he states that a choir loft is not anideal place for them, because this location removes them from the assembly and is notaccessible to those who cannot climb stairs. Ideally, the organ should also not be in theloft, but this preference is not always possible. If the organ cannot be moved and a newone cannot be obtained, the choir and cantors must adapt to the distance and timelapse.77 Vosko notes that many different kinds of arrangements can work well for musicministry, and in a rectangular, older church that the best places would probably be oneend of the room or the other. In any renovation regarding the place of music ministryand musical instruments, it is important for local church leaders to discuss possibilities73 Ibid, no. 95.74 Ibid.75 Ibid, no. 98.76 Vosko, 97.77 Ibid, 97-98.
  34. 34. 34with the design team – architect, acoustical consultant, liturgical designer, and organbuilder – in order to make the best choice possible before final plans are made.78 Vosko presents some factors that should be considered when choosing a placefor music ministry. You must consider what each ministry and instrument needs. Youneed to have a flexible setting that can be adapted as needed. The area itself should bepleasing to the eye. Of all the criteria, the most important is to consider who theministers are and what their needs are.79 Acoustically, the best arrangement for thesingers is to be located on tiered risers. This arrangement allows their sound to carryand allows them to see the director. Instrumentalists are best suited in front of thesingers.80 In this arrangement, space can also be available on the floor in front of therisers for those in wheelchairs. Vosko admits that while creating the best possible acoustical setting isimportant, it is also difficult to achieve. The worship space should be resonant forsingers and instrumentalists. However, the acoustics of a worship space also need tosupport spoken language so that worshipers can hear words clearly. Modifying theamount of absorptive materials may also be necessary, especially in older buildings.Making such adaptations can be especially difficult if the acoustical situation is verypoor. An acoustical consultant can be very helpful in this situation.8178 Ibid, 101.79 Ibid, 101-102.80 Ibid, 102.81 Ibid, 104-105.
  35. 35. 35 Once the acoustical setting has been enhanced or established, then a soundsystem can be considered for the space. It should be the most up-to-date audio systemas possible with audio recording and playback features. These systems can have manualcontrol for modification or controls that are set and cannot be changed (by thoseunauthorized to change them).82 Deciding where to put the loud speakers can be a challenge. Vosko states,“*I+deally, everyone in the assembly should be able to hear clearly without noticingwhere the amplified sound is coming from.”83 Again, professional help is important inthis step and every step.84 Having a sufficient number of microphones and the appropriate kinds ofmicrophone is also an important step.85 Microphones should be unobtrusive andflexible. Any equipment that is used in the church should be quiet. Worship spacesneed a sufficient amount of electric outlets in locations where they are or may beneeded, within the music area and elsewhere in the space. All equipment and musicalinstruments should be situated in ways that do not distract the assembly from theliturgical action.86 Richard Giles also has a chapter of his book, Re-Pitching the Tent, devoted tomusic ministry. He presents several principles regarding this ministry. These principlesare: music is the most important part of worship and leads to a community’s renewal;the choir includes the entire assembly; and certain individuals with musical gifts assist82 Ibid, 105.83 Ibid, 106.84 Ibid.85 Ibid.86 Ibid., 107.
  36. 36. 36 the assembly in praising God through song. Also, the musicians are part of the assembly; musicians play a part in enriching the liturgy; many musical traditions should be embraced to honor the diversity of ourpopulations; and the organ should be located at the western end of the church whenpossible.87 The area for musicians at St. Aloysius has been changing in the past year. UntilDecember of 2009, all members of the music ministry served from the choir loft,pictured here. The choir loft suited the parish well for many years and provided storagefor the contemporary choir equipment, the piano and organ, and choir music storage, aswell as serving as a location for the choir itself. As the years went on, and I took over asmusic director, it became more and more obvious that this situation was not ideal. Itprovided lots of storage and a place for everything and everyone involved, but themusicians and I never felt like a true part of the assembly and many members droppedout over the years, because they could no longer easily navigate the stairs. Anotherproblem was that the loft was always cold, and there was a terrible draft from theceiling that caused discomfort for many.87 Giles, 198-200.
  37. 37. 37 When our current pastor came to the parish in July of 2008, he stated early on inhis tenure that one change he would like to make would be to bring the choirdownstairs. This opened me to the possibility of making the change, and I thought ofways to do it. At the start of Advent in 2009, the music ministry re-located to theground floor of the church. It took some getting used to, for the assembly and for us, but overall it waswell received. The only negative feedback I have received is from one older memberwho expressed the concern that the choir was taking seats away from disabledmembers of the congregation. I have had to explain the rationale behind the move to afew people and the youth choir, but overall there has not been any problem with thenew set-up. The challenge in this move was that this caused us to lose all of our storage. Itwould have made little sense to continue to store choir materials in the loft and carrythem down every week. This situation was remedied when a cantor provided me withtwo grocery store boxes that could serve as storage. This is not an ideal situation, but ithas been working.
  38. 38. 38 Pictured left is the storage that exists for choir materials. The youth and adult choir materials are stored in the boxes, and additional hymnals are on the windowsill. The music stand is used for the cantor andoffice supplies are in the bag on the floor. The choir typically uses one hymnal, butsome weeks need two. Because these are heavy books and go into one box with theirmusic binder, the box can be quite heavy. To lessen the weight, I have taken out theWorship hymnals from the box on weeks when they are not needed. The accompaniment books and all other materials are stored in the stairwell, pictured left. In the current set-up, everything needs to be stored in this way. It is then brought out for the first Saturday mass and then put away after the last Sunday mass every weekend. I have recently been informed that storing anything on a stairwell is a fire hazard. However, since I have no other option, the stairwell needs to be used in this unsafe way.
  39. 39. 39 There are currently two different set-ups for the downstairs arrangement. The first photo shows the set-up for masses that do not utilize the choirs. To set- up each week, I push the piano from its place by thepillar behind the ambo to this position, and then carry out the accompaniment books,the cantor music stand and set-up the cantor microphone. Additionally, I put up thehymnal and order of worship page numbers on a marquee by the choir loft. After thelast mass, everything must be moved back to store. The second photo shows the set-up for choir masses. It is almost identical to the other set-up, but the choir music box is brought out and members gather their materials before sitting down. They sit in the pewsin front of the piano.
  40. 40. 40 Where the choir sits in this arrangement is problematic for two reasons. One,when they sit down and I am seated at choir rehearsals, they cannot see me becausethe piano is quite high. This piano used to be in the loft, but was switched with the oneon this floor in December. The other one was much shorter, but its sound was not ideal. Second, the choir is seated in front of congregation members who sit in thissection. Depending on the mass attendance, there may be 20-40 people seated here.There are people to the rear, side, and front of them; the other side of the altar has theexact same pew set-up. Unfortunately, the sound coming from the choir is best heardby the people directly across from them. During the Eucharistic prayers, they remainstanding to lead the acclamations. This leads to them blocking the view of theassembly members behind them. An additional complication is the microphone cord. In the choir set-up, themicrophone is next to the piano, but that also leaves a large amount of open spacebetween the piano and the ambo. The microphone cord does not lie flat and spans thisspace, because the plug is on the pillar (the cantor uses this microphone during thesemasses). Before communion, a choir member or I move this microphone over by thepillar to avoid a congregation member possibly tripping. This problem could be easilyremedied by covering it with a cord channel from a home improvement or office supplystore, but this solution has yet to be tried. During communion, the congregation in thissection processes within this space. At times, to the music ministers, it feels as though
  41. 41. 41the communicants are invading our music space. To put it mildly, this is a less-than-idealsituation. Another complication is that the organ was not moved and is in no condition tobe moved. Therefore, whenever it is used, the choir and cantors have to adjust to thesound delay and attempt to sing with the organ despite the distance delay. Obviously, Imust climb the stairs whenever the organ is to be used. Overall, this situation is not helpful for several reasons. In the position where wecurrently are located for mass, we have no permanent storage, no permanent set-up,and no place of our own. The choir loft still needs to be used to house thecontemporary choir’s equipment, their choir music, and the organ. It is also still usedfor funerals and weddings when there is only a keyboardist and cantor for weddings andkeyboardist and small choir for funerals. We minister from the choir loft then in ordernot to invade the space for the families and to permit easier access to the piano andorgan. There are a few options that might be considered to alleviate this situation. Oneoption would be to locate the choir under the choir loft with amplification. This iscurrently where the baptismal font and vigil candles are. However, as shown in thebaptismal font chapter, this space is very limited and relatively small in relationship tothe number of music ministers we have. Chairs would work in this area. The combinedchoir for Confirmation has used this space twice in the past when our parish hosted thiscelebration. However, from these experiences I can attest to the fact that this space is a
  42. 42. 42“dead zone” – no sound can travel very far or very well. Ideally, the choir should belocated in an area where their sound can travel without sound enhancement. In thespace below the choir loft, this is not possible. Another option would be to place chairs where the piano currently is located fornon-choir masses, that is, next to the ambo. From this location they could project theirvoices towards the altar, but not necessarily towards the congregation. It would alsonot solve the problem of the choir being able to see me at all times. Another similaroption would be to have chairs on risers in this area. Perhaps what would probably work best would be to take out a few front pews(or cut them in half) to redirect the communion path of the congregation. These options make a place for the choir, but do not solve the problem of ournot having any storage. There are two options for storage that could be created. Mypastor has suggested that the glass doors and windows leading to the choir loft could becovered and shelving built onto the stained glass window next to the emergency exitdoor (where the boxes and supplies are currently stored). Another option would be tohave a cabinet built into which all of this material could be stored. While this would notgive a place for everything, at least a majority of things would have a place. Another option that was suggested by my Capstone advisor and my eigth-gradepiano student is to place the choir on an entire quarter of the space where the choircurrently is placed – the handicapped accessible side of the church. My piano student is
  43. 43. 43planning to design the risers to use in this area for his Boy Scout Eagle project in a fewyears. His proposal is to have risers in this area facing the opposite side, but startingfurther back with the piano in front in them. A bar would be put between the ceilingpillars and the risers would go across where the pews currently are. The pastorsuggested to him that the pews that are removed could be cut into chairs and used onthe risers, but real chairs would work better. It was also suggested in this set-up thatthe organ (a new one, because the current one is very bad condition) be placed in thebalcony directly behind this side of the church, but it would be more ideal on the floorof the church in this area. Although my student pictured this set-up on the eastern sideof the church, my pastor suggested that it would work better on the western side. Inthis way, the eastern side could be used for the gathering space and baptismal font. This is an excellent option, and by using a quarter of the worship space, storagecould be created. Thin walls or cabinets with shelving could be built to provide storagefor choir supplies including hymnals, binders, accompaniment books, music stands,microphones, choir music cabinets, and other contemporary choir equipment. In thisspace, a small rehearsal room could even to be built. I have visited several churches with excellent areas for musicians, but none thatcould serve as a model for the last option that I presented. However, I will providesome examples of churches that have risers that could serve as a model.
  44. 44. 44 One example is the music area of St. Stephen’s in Oak Creek, WI, which is pictured left. The slanted back wall serves as a shell to project the choir’s sound forward. There is also a handicap-accessible ramp tothe altar area. In this church there is only organ and an ambo with microphone for thecantor. The choir is also amplified. The material and wood used on the chairs is thesame as the pews throughout the church. The pews form a semi-circle around the altararea, so the choir’s sound is directed towards them. Another example is the music area of Immaculate Heart of Mary in West Allis, WI, which is pictured left. This area has an organ and a piano, and to the left of the piano is storage for many percussioninstruments. The percussion storage is mostly behind a small wall that holds thechurch’s crucifix that is directly behind the altar.
  45. 45. 45 This church has a Director of Liturgy who accompanies and a choir director whostands in front of the choir. There is also a cantor music stand with microphone, and thechairs on the risers are the same material and wood as the chairs and pews of the entirechurch. This area is to the rear and right of the altar area and a combination of pewsand chairs for the congregation are in a semi-circle around the altar. Although the choiris perpendicular to the pews directly in front of them, their sound is projected to allparts of the congregation. This church also has a separate rehearsal room for the choir.Here the choir warms-up and leaves their belongings and then can easily enter thechurch close to the start of liturgy. Another example can be found at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Hales Corners, WI. This church has an excellent music area, which is pictured left. The risers are directly in front of a beautiful stained glass window of Madonna andchild and there is both a piano and organ. There is a Director of Liturgy and Music whodirects the choir and an Associate Director of Music for accompaniment. This area is tothe side of the church and behind some of the pews. The pews are in a semi-circlearound the altar area, and the same material and wood is used on the chairs on therisers.
  46. 46. 46 Another example can be found at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Milwaukee, WI. This church was built in 1959 and renovated in 1991. Their current set-up is pictured left. The choir is located onrisers behind the congregation, and they have an organ, piano and several percussioninstruments (stored on the other side of the organ). This church also has a cabinet forstoring choir hymnals and accompaniment books. Additional equipment is storedbehind the risers. The same chairs are used for the assembly and the choir. When I visited the church recently the chairs for the congregation were arrangedin a semi-circle around the altar area, while during a previous visit they were in rowsfacing the altar that was located to the left of the music area. I was told by a staffmember that the semi-circle arrangement is typical for Lent, and this will be thearrangement as the church prepares for their next renovation in the near future. Whenit is renovated, the choir will shift to the other side of the platform and overflow seatingwill be put where the choir currently is.
  47. 47. Conclusion Building a new church or renovating an existing one can be a challenging andvery rewarding project, one that requires a comprehensive parish process. Beinginvolved in the process can be rewarding for the people working directly on the buildingproject, but with adequate liturgical catechesis about worship and the process itself, italso it can be rewarding for the people who will worship in that space. The process ofbuilding and renovating a church – if well done – has the potential to lead to therenewal of the worshipping community. In his article in Liturgical Ministry, Scott O’Brien states that liturgical spaces canserve as a place for ecclesial conversion. He suggests that the role of the architecture isto “create a people who are situated in the world in a uniquely human way…disclosingthe community’s identity to be as sheltering as is their God.”88 The building itselfrepresents the community which is housed there. Liturgical space is “a house of Godand a house of the Church as People of God who share a similar identity as servant for88 Scott OBrien, “Liturgical Space as Place of Ecclesial Conversion.” Liturgical Ministry 11 (Spring 2002):83-84. 47
  48. 48. 48the sake of the world.”89 Liturgical architecture is a metaphor and symbol that “speaksa deeper meaning than just the functional and practical.”90 There are many success stories of parishes that have been able to construct anew building or renew an existing one. One such success was St. Helen Catholic Churchin Dayton, Ohio. Kathleen Harmon, S.N.D. de N., music director for the Institute forLiturgical Ministry in Dayton, Ohio; Rev. Paul DeLuca, pastor of St. Helen; and Walter D.Seward, a member of St. Helen, wrote of their experience in the essay, “Renovating aLiturgical Space: How One Parish Succeeded.”91 Each person gives his or her perspectiveon the process and what they learned along the way. In the same issue of that journal,Harmon also presents the process for catechesis and forms used in the parish. 92 According to the pastor, the first step is to develop “a clear liturgical vision.”This gave the project a direction that “derived from the Church’s self-understanding asbody of Christ continuing his redemptive work in the world today and an understandingof liturgy as the regularly repeated ritual that immerses the baptized in this mission andnourishes them to carry it out.”93 The next important steps were to create a strategic,long-term plan for the project and to develop a finance and building and groundscommittee. In order to achieve all that needed to be accomplished, a ten-year plan was89 Ibid. 85.90 Ibid, 86.91 Kathleen Harmon, Paul DeLuca, and Walter D. Seward, "Renovating a Liturgical Space: How One ParishSucceeded." Liturgical Ministry 14 (Spring 2005), 82-92.92 Kathleen Harmon, “Sacred Space for a Sacred People: Catechesis for Building and Renovating LiturgicalSpace.” Liturgical Ministry 14 (Spring 2005), 49-81.93 Ibid., 83.
  49. 49. 49set in place. The remainder of the article describes the plan and its impact on allinvolved.94 Many authors and liturgical consultants have published resources andpublications regarding the building and renewal of liturgical spaces. These includeMarchita Mauck, Richard Vosko, Richard Giles, Nancy DeMott, Tim Shapiro, Brent Bill,and James Healy. Each author presents a different process based on research and pastexperience. To compare and contrast them appropriately, a chart is included in theAppendix. It is my hope that St. Aloysius Church may someday soon engage in a renovationprocess that will not only rectify our current problems in our insufficient spaces forbaptism, gathering, and music making, but that will also help to renew our worshipingcommunity.94 Ibid.
  50. 50. AppendixAuthor Prelimary Preparation ProcessMauck Form a Committee, Select liturgical consultant, select Develop a Parish Mision architect, form and work with Planning Statement, Assess Physical Committee, work with assembly, Resources and Financial Master Site Plan/Schematic Capabilities Design/Design, Construction, Post- Construction ReflectionVosko Obtain Diocesan approval, Select architect and other professionals, clear goals for the project form a committee, conduct project catechesis, seek congregation input, develop study and master plan, raise funds, develop the designs, work with artisans, prepare rituals, prepare construction documents, negotiate bids, construction, dedicate and care for the churchGiles Conduct church council Develop strategic development plan, training/formation appoint professionals, do community cathechesis, review proposals from professionals and present to communityDeMott, Ask…Who are We as a What will the building convey? WhatShapiro, Bill Congregation? Who Are building approach will be used? What Our Neighbors? Who is service providers will we use? What God Calling Us to Be? sources of funding will be used? How will the congregation be informed? How will we maintain our spiritual focus? How will we ensure that the work is done properly?Healy Assess the needs, Select an architect, do fund-raising, communicate with develop parish strategic planning, parishioners commission architectural master plan, conduct financial feasibility study, do cathechesis, take groups on church visits and perform assessments, develop the church design, do construction, interior design, dedication 50
  51. 51. BibliographyBedard, Walter M. The Symbolism of the Baptismal Font in Early Christian Thought. Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 1951.Boyer, Mark G. The Liturgical Environment: What the Documents Say, 2nd ed. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2010.Christopherson, D. Foy. A Place of Encounter: Renewing Worship Spaces. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 2004.Davies, J.G. The Architectural Setting of Baptism. London: Barrie and Rockliff, 1962.DeHondt, Ronald J. "Hows Your Font Working?" Liturgy 90 27: 4 (May/June 1996): 10- 14.DeMott, Nancy, T. Shapiro, and B. Bill. Holy Places: Matching Sacred Space with Mission and Message. Herndon, VA: The Alban Institute, 2007.Giles, Richard. Re-Pitching the Tent: Re-Ordering the Church Building for Worship and Mission. Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 1999.Harmon, Kathleen. “Sacred Space for a Sacred People: Catechesis for Building or Renovating Liturgical Space.” Liturgical Ministry 14 (Spr 2005): 49-81.________, Paul DeLuca, and Walter D. Seward. "Renovating a Liturgical Space: How One Parish Succeeded." Liturgical Ministry 14 (Spring 2005), 82-92.Healy, James E. Building a New Church: A Process Manual for Pastors and Lay Leaders. Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 2010.Kuehn, Regina. A Place for Baptism. Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications, 1992.Liturgy Documents Volume 1, 4th ed. Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications, 2004.Mauck, Marchita B. Places for Worship: A Guide to Building and Renovating. Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 1995. 51
  52. 52. 52________. Shaping a House for the Church. Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications, 1990.Martin, John Rupert. Baroque. New York: Harper and Row, 1977.Meitler Consultants. Data Study: Mary Queen of Saints Catholic Academy, 2010.Milavec, Aaron. The Didache: Text, Translation, Analysis, and Commentary. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2003.National Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishops Committee on the Liturgy. Music in Catholic Worship. Washington, D.C.: United States Catholic Conference, 1983.National Conference of Catholic Bishops, The Book of Blessings. New York: Catholic Book Publishing Company, 1989.OBrien, Scott. “Liturgical Space as Place of Ecclesial Conversion.” Liturgical Ministry 11, 14 (Spr 2005): 81-88.The Rites of the Catholic Church Volume 1, Study Edition. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1990.Stauffer, S. Anita. Re-Examining Baptismal Fonts: Baptismal Space for the Contemporary Church. Collegeville MN: Liturgical Press, 1991. Videocassette.________. "Space for Baptism." Reformed Liturgy & Music 19:4 (Fall 1985): 174-178.U.S. Catholic Bishops, Committee on the Liturgy. Built of Living Stones: Art, Architecture, and Worship Guidelines of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. Washington, D.C.: United States Catholic Conference, 2000.U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Sing to the Lord: Music in Divine Worship. Washington, D.C.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2008.Vosko, Richard S. Gods House Is Our House: Re-imagining the Environment for Worship. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2006.
  53. 53. 53Internet Resources:The Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist. "Virtual Tour of the Cathedral." http://www.stjohncathedral.org/tour/baptistry.htm (accessed March 18, 2010)Sacred Congregation of Rites. “Musicam sacram: Instruction on music in the Liturgy.” http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat- ii_instr_19670305_musicam-sacram_en.html (accessed March 20, 2010).Sacred Congregation of Rites. “Inter oecumenici: Instruction on implementing liturgical norms.” http://www.vatican.va/archive/ hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_instr_19670305_musicam- sacram_en.html (accessed March 20, 2010).Tertullian, “Chapter I. Introduction. Origin of the Treatise.” On Baptism. http://mb-soft.com/believe/txv/tertullt.htm (accessed March 9, 2010)United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Catechism of the Catholic Church. http://www.usccb.org/catechism/text/pt2sect2.shtml#art1 (accessed March 9, 2010).
  54. 54. VitaAuthor: Stephanie WeakDate of Birth: 6-21-1981, Milwaukee, WIEducation: Alverno College, Bachelor of Music, 2003 Catholic Theological Union, Master of Pastoral Studies, 2010Positions Held:July 2006-Present: Director of Music, St. Aloysius Catholic ChurchJuly 2001-2003, 2005-2006: Interim Co-Director of Music, Director St. Aloysius Catholic ChurchAugust 2005-June 2006: Music Teacher St. Mary Catholic SchoolAugust 2004-June 2005: Music Teacher St. Catherine Catholic SchoolMarch-May 2004: Whitnall School District SubstituteJanuary 2004-Present: Music Teacher St. John Kanty Catholic SchoolSummer 2002-2005: Unit Counselor, Camp Alice ChesterSummer 2006-Summer 2008: Nature Specialist, Camp Alice Chester 54