The second reason I traveled to the Liturgy and Sacred Space conference at de Tiltenberg in the Netherlands was the opportunity to visit churches designed by Dom Hans van der Laan, his family, and his students. The culmination of this pilgrimage was a two night stay at his masterwork, the St Benedictusberg Abbey at Vaals.
In addition to celebrating the Feast of the Dedication of the St John Lateran Basilica and participating in praying the monastic offices, I had time to carefully consider a significant portion of the architecture. I also spent time in lectio, completing Hans Urs von Balthasar's Love Alone is Credible and re-reading parts of van der Laan's The Play of Forms. This post is intended to be more personal reactions to that experience than critical architectural response, though for me the two are probably not too far apart.Read More