Returning from the van der Laan Pilgrimage

I am currently in the O'Hare airport in Chicago, about the begin the last leg of travel to return home. It has been a beautiful trip and very fruitful in ways I had hoped for and in ways unexpected.

Over the next few weeks I will have a number of posts containing descriptions of trip and the buildings visited and reflections on the topics raised at the Liturgy and Sacred Space conference attended.

Here are a few of the planned posts to give you an idea of what to expect. Some of them I have already sketched out, some are just ideas of topics to address in the future.

  1. What is the importance of the concept "locus iste" in Christianity? This question asked of google led someone to this site, and I was reflecting on it before the trip. During the conference and especially during the prayers for the Feast of the Dedication of Basilica of St John Lateran (which I was able to celebrate at the Abbey), my thoughts on this question were refined, so I will have a post on this very soon.
  2. The Antiphons, Readings, and Hymns for the Feast of the Dedication of a Church. This will be a companion to the above, an appendix really. These are beautiful and informative texts and better than anything I could write on the subject.
  3. Reflections in the Ordering of Life and Space in the Abbey at Vaals. I have begun the very difficult task of collecting my thoughts and responding to the experience of the abbey and will share them at length, along with my photos.
  4. On the New Baptismal Font at the Sistine Chapel. The artist behind this significant new work presented it in depth during the conference. It generated quite a bit of discussion, and more opposition that I would have expected, and is worth looking at in depth here.
  5. Is It Acceptable for a Church to be "Not For Everyone." This question was prompted by the discussion t the conference, especially as it relates to van der Laan specifically and particular cultural / intellectual expressions of architecture in general. This theme will be included in my reflections on the abbey, but deserves dedicated consideration as well.
  6. On the Proper Place of Invention in the Liturgy.
  7. On Sentimentality and Rationalism.
  8. On Obedience and Creative Genius.

And then there are the buildings. I have not yet decided how best to present those, but expect some Flickr sets soon at the very least.