Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Do Statues distract you?

My Catholic parish's oldest building was built around 1906 and used to be extremely beautiful. Our new parish is more modern and well---- a little ugly. Now I don't mean to complain because it still has beauty and is not nearly as bad as some parishes of recent times but there are a few things I complain about. One of those things would be that we only have one statue in the Church sanctuary---The Blessed Mother. However this is one of the ugliest statues of Mary that I have ever seen, and it was created by a non-Catholic. We paid this guy to make this "original" statue a good fortune too. Go figure. Anyway, I don't understand why we did this since we already have a beautiful statue of Mary sitting in our parish hall that used to be displayed with dignity in our old parish. We have the rest of our church's statuary hidden away in class rooms. I have suggested to our priest that we should place these statues in the Church, but he said that they were cheaply made statues and that he only wanted "Sacred Art" in the Church, and according to him this did not fit that. Well, I think those old statues that are "cheap" are a heck of a lot better than our expensive statue of Mary that looks like a 60 year old woman.

Anyway, I was happening to talk to our DRE (Director of Religious Education) and I brought up that I wish we had more statues in our church. She said if we had side altars that would be perfect, but she was concerned that some people would become distracted by statues. For example she brought up that some old ladies might be praying to "their saint" instead of participating in the Mass. It was an interesting point that I had never thought about. I don't think that it's grounds to keep statues out though. I think it beautifies the Church and reminds us of the heroic lives of the Christian Faithful, and can inspire us to do the same. So, what do you think?


Esther said...

Is the one in the photo the old statue? If so, it is lovely from what I can tell.
Although I think statues only enhance a Catholic church, your DRE may have a point. I sometimes notice when I am at the Cathedral's Adoration Chapel, people will walk right by the Blessed Sacrament and go to show respect/pray to the statue of the Sacred Heart or the Blessed Mother, or one of the other saints, etc. But then again, some people pray the Rosary during Mass. It is probably ignorance than distraction. We had three beautiful statues in our church, the Sacred Heart, the Blessed Mother and Blessed Father Damien. When our church was renovated, two big screens now sit in the place where the Sacred Heart and Blessed Mother once stood. That to me was so sad.

PBXVI said...

Esther, to confuse you I just changed the picture. The last one of Mary was NOT a statue from my church. The one I just posted is a picture of what our old church used to look like. We have a statue of the Blessed Mother outside that the Knights of Columbus gave us to commemorate those babies who have been murdered in abortion, and those who are left behind grieving. THAT statue of Mary is VERY beautiful. Vatican II never said we couldn't have statues, and I think that if people were instructed then it wouldn't be a problem. Thanks for the comment. God Bless!

Moneybags said...

I strongly favor the old appearance with many statues. I don't think it is wrong for people to pray to saints during the Mass. We all should be praying that the Sacrifice will be acceptable and pleasing to God. An atmosphere of beauty strong helps.

Milehimama said...

I posted a blog about this same thing a couple of months ago:

My "pretty" church is the FSSP in Littleton, CO.