Beauty In Life · Power Of Symbols · Spiritual Places · Uncategorized

More Sacred Spaces: Beauty For All

The beauty of Sacred Spaces must please God and the people who enjoy them.

St. Hedwig Church on East Third in downtown Erie was built in Tudor Gothic style. Two “crowning interior features” are an 18th c. baroque crucifix hanging over the altar and an icon depicting the “Black Madonna and Child” sacred to Polish Catholics. I was also captivated by the stunning blue ceiling and stained glass windows (pictured).

Ceiling, St. Hedwigs Church
Ceiling, St. Hedwigs Church

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Altar area, St. Matthew's Lutheran
Altar area, St. Matthew’s Lutheran

St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church on West 7th was built in a Romanesque Revival style and considers itself a traditional “neighborhood” church.  I loved the cross hanging over the altar, the focal point of the sanctuary.

I believe a “sacred space” can exist whenever and wherever you meet with God. But the sanctuaries set aside for worship and buildings that house His work and the work of His people deserve special attention. Given tight budgets and differing priorities for precious resources, we may not see new construction like this again. Those that tend these sacred spaces also deserve recognition, from the priests, organists, volunteer “docents,”and cleaning workers to the ladies who provided refreshments for visitors. I also am grateful for the woman at St. Mary’s who shared warm words of comfort with a stranger.

They welcome strangers, perhaps even angels, and so welcome Jesus Himself.

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3 thoughts on “More Sacred Spaces: Beauty For All

  1. Thank you, Lora, for the photos of sacred places in Erie. I’ve moved to the southwest and, although I lived in northwestern PA for about 15 years I only visited Erie once and that visit was very brief.You share so much creative beauty through your blog and through Time of Singing. I’m so grateful and I’ve shared Time of Singing with a friend in my UT Presbyterian Church. She is a poet and enjoyed the issue I gave to her.

  2. Thank you, Lora, for these beautiful pictures of sacred spaces. I agree that a sacred space exists wherever we meet God. Robert Barron says this is because of the Incarnation, which is prolonged throughout space and time. Our faith incorporates the body and senses as well as the mind and the soul, so we are able to find God in every inspired aspect of life: in the Gospels, Epistles of Paul, Confessions of Saint Augustine, and in great literature and poetry; in the great cathedrals and works of art, such as the Cathedral of Chartres, the Isenheim Altarpiece; and in the magnificent music of great composers. I believe we get so accustomed to the sacred spaces that we experience daily that we fail to recognize them as sacred. Then, when we see pictures of beautiful cathedrals, we remember that God expresses his majesty through human creativity, as well as nature.

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