Doubting like Luther, and trying to test like a Berean, this is where I think aloud about Christian belief and practice. It is also where I share resources of interest to other struggling believers.

Baptized and confirmed in the American Lutheran Church, I explored New Age spirituality for a time but have since worshiped the Trinitarian God of Christianity in many different churches, my denominational preference being Lutheran. I believe in salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. My greatest struggle is prayer. My greatest annoyance is legalism and the notion that blind obedience to the Law will bring sanctification. My greatest fear is that I don't believe correctly. Yet, my greatest hope is that as I grow in my understanding of the grace that God extends to me daily, I will grow in my ability to walk in and demonstrate that grace to others.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Scaffolding Everywhere, Rebuilding the Church

This evening, my daughter had her first solo in a concert at St. Patrick Cathedral in Norwich, CT.  She sings in the Diocesan Choir there, and has for almost six years, so the opportunity to perform alone, even if it was only for eight measures, was much appreciated.  Anyway, when I arrived for the concert, I found this:

Scaffolding in St. Patrick Cathedral

Katherine the Great had warned me that the sanctuary was "full" of scaffolding, and I believed her, but I certainly couldn't imagine what "full" meant.  Well, all I can say!

After speaking to some of the parishioners at St. Patrick, I was given to understand that all the scaffolding was to support the work of restoring the murals that once graced the ceiling of the church, as seen in this postcard from 1909.

Postcard of St. Patrick Cathedral
According to one concertgoer that I met, the artwork disappeared during the tenure of Pope Paul VI (1963-1978).  The official renovation brochure put out by the diocese merely states that "over the years" the murals were painted over.  No explanation was given me as to why this eradication occurred, but it did, and now it is being undone.

I must admit, not being Catholic and not being a parishioner at St. Patrick, when I first heard that this painting was going to be done and when I first saw the paint tests, I thought it might be a gigantic waste of money to restore the cathedral, money that could be better spent on ministry and outreach.  Then again, the Israelites applied a lot of artistic skill and wealth to the wilderness tabernacle because it was the house of God (see Exodus, Chapters 25-30), so who am I to question the bishop and his plans for the local cathedral?

The ceiling and its murals should be finished by the middle of summer, if not sooner, just in time for the Diamond Jubilee Mass at the end of July 2013.  For now, this is the only glimpse I could get of the actual artwork that, when finished, will depict the life of Christ.

A sneak peek of a mural in St. Patrick Cathedral
To see/read a complete brochure on the cathedral renovation, click here.
To read an article about the Life of Christ murals and to see a rendering of them, click here.

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