14 February 2024

Lawrence Feingold, ‘Sacred Architecture and the Sacrifice of the Mass’

Advanced studies’ seminar on sacred space hosted by Eric Parry Architects, 14 February 2024. With Professor Lawrence Feingold:

00:00:07 Lawrence Feingold

00:30:31 Fr Peter Newby

00:31:50 José de Paiva

00:42:36 Fr Peter Newby

00:46:23 Eric Parry

Online talks on sacred space:
Presence, Person, Beauty

This series brings contemporary authors to reflect on some of the most primary questions for theology and philosophy as well as the history of art and architecture. From divine dwelling in the Old Testament to its Christian understanding, the question of divine presence in the visible world has been at the heart of the community of the faithful. From the ancient search for the face of God to the traditional understanding of person, the question of personhood and its myriad implications have challenged our understanding throughout history. They have also guided our understanding of what it means to live together and build our world. And yet, in our contemporary lives, we often seem oblivious to the natural goodness and beauty of the created world in which we dwell and build; even in today’s sacred art and architecture, the word beauty is scarcely, if ever, used. These online seminars on presence, person and the theology of beauty – of the created world, of art and architecture – explore these topics in a way that is by no means exclusive to the sacred, but hopefully provocative in the best sense of the term.

Synopsis: The architecture of the sacred space ought to be informed by liturgical and eucharistic theology to aid the faithful to adore and to participate through their common or royal priesthood in the offering of the sacrifice. We will consider how elements of church architecture can help the faithful to enter more deeply into the mystery of the Eucharist by emphasizing its dimensions of Presence, Sacrifice, and Communion; its ascending and descending movements (oblation and epiclesis); and the coming together of the past, present, and future insofar as the past of the paschal mystery is made present in the celebration of the mystery and the celebration is the pledge of Christ’s Second Coming. Particular elements to be considered include the distinction between the nave which represents time and the sanctuary which represents eternity; the prominence of the altar as the heart of the Church on which Christ becomes present and is offered up in sacrifice by the priest and people; the visibility of the tabernacle manifesting the presence of Christ as the Head and Bridegroom of the Church and reminding us of His offer of Himself in Communion; and the vault and the apse which represent transcendent and eschatological movement and tension.

Dr. Lawrence Feingold is Professor of Theology at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis. He converted to Catholicism in 1989 together with his wife while engaged in realist marble sculpture in Pietrasanta, Italy. He is the author of Touched by Christ: The Sacramental Economy (2021); The Eucharist: Mystery of Presence, Sacrifice, and Communion (2018); Faith Comes from What Is Heard: An Introduction to Fundamental Theology (2016); The Mystery of Israel and the Church (2010); and The Natural Desire to See God According to St. Thomas Aquinas and His Interpreters (2010).