Does it Matter What the church looks like?

I am recently coming back to the Catholic faith. I have attended Mass a few times at the Catholic Church that is closest to my house. I was very surprised when I went into the santuary for the first time and saw that it was very plain. The walls are all cream colored and everything is wood trimmed. There are no stations of the cross. The only statue is a small one of Mary that is off to the side of the alter. There are no crusifixes. There are very few candels.
Also, the host and wine are served from wooden bowls and chalices.
I’m used to more ornate Catholic Churches. This church looks less Catholic than the protestant churches that I have attended - except for the single statue of Mary.
Does any of this matter? I was most concerned about the bowls and chalices because I thought they were suppossed to be gold.

Kim M

sounds like you have entered a church where the worship commission is in charge,…

perhaps you would do well to continue looking. Do you have someone who can recommend for you? But if they recommend this church, you might not want to ask them for more help.

**[font=Arial]Wooden bowls ? For consecrated wine or hosts or both ?


I like a church to convey the old saying, “To the greater glory of God.”
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Yes, the host is served from wooden bowls and the wine from wooden cups.

[quote=KimM]I am recently coming back to the Catholic faith. I have attended Mass a few times at the Catholic Church that is closest to my house. I was very surprised when I went into the santuary for the first time and saw that it was very plain. The walls are all cream colored and everything is wood trimmed. There are no stations of the cross. The only statue is a small one of Mary that is off to the side of the alter. There are no crusifixes. There are very few candels.
Also, the host and wine are served from wooden bowls and chalices.
I’m used to more ornate Catholic Churches. This church looks less Catholic than the protestant churches that I have attended - except for the single statue of Mary.
Does any of this matter? I was most concerned about the bowls and chalices because I thought they were suppossed to be gold.

Kim M
[/quote]

Yes this stuff matters a great deal. The Catholic faith is a very incarnational faith. God became man. He took on a material body. Thus, the physical matters in the Catholic faith. That is why we kneel before Christ in the Eucharist, and why we dress nice on Sunday out of respect for our Divine and human LORD. In the mass the real and physical body and blood of Christ becomes present. And so the Eucharist should be treated as such. It should be carried and contained in the best vessels we can provide for our King. The Church should be decorated and designed in a manner fitting of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Furthermore, since the Mass is heaven on earth, a church should help us to enter into the mystery of the heavenly banquet and the Holy Sacrifice, through its architecture and decoration.

[quote=KimM]Yes, the host is served from wooden bowls and the wine from wooden cups.
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%between%**From Redemptionis Sacramentum

**
[117.] Sacred vessels for containing the Body and Blood of the Lord must be made in strict conformity with the norms of tradition and of the liturgical books.[205]The Bishops’ Conferences have the faculty to decide whether it is appropriate, once their decisions have been given the recognitio by the Apostolic See, for sacred vessels to be made of other solid materials as well. It is strictly required, however, that such materials be truly noble in the common estimation within a given region,[206]so that honour will be given to the Lord by their use, and all risk of diminishing the doctrine of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharistic species in the eyes of the faithful will be avoided. Reprobated, therefore, is any practice of using for the celebration of Mass common vessels, or others lacking in quality, or devoid of all artistic merit or which are mere containers, as also other vessels made from glass, earthenware, clay, or other materials that break easily. This norm is to be applied even as regards metals and other materials that easily rust or deteriorate.[207] **
****Also go to the Search at the top and type CHALICE MATERIALS. This has been discussed many times.


[quote=KimM]I am recently coming back to the Catholic faith. I have attended Mass a few times at the Catholic Church that is closest to my house. I was very surprised when I went into the santuary for the first time and saw that it was very plain. The walls are all cream colored and everything is wood trimmed. There are no stations of the cross. The only statue is a small one of Mary that is off to the side of the alter. There are no crusifixes. There are very few candels.
Also, the host and wine are served from wooden bowls and chalices.
I’m used to more ornate Catholic Churches. This church looks less Catholic than the protestant churches that I have attended - except for the single statue of Mary.
Does any of this matter? I was most concerned about the bowls and chalices because I thought they were suppossed to be gold.

Kim M
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No. It is not the most important thing what the church looks like.
It is helpful if the church building is well-decorated, but much more important is what happens in the church.
You didn’t say whether the wooden bowls and chalices were plain or ornate which appears to be the requirement of the above post so we should hold off on that judgement.
It appears from what you are saying that this church is more modern and less traditional. If you prefer a more traditional setting you should attend elsewhere.

The wooden bowls and chalices are just plain laquered wood.

[quote=KimM]The wooden bowls and chalices are just plain laquered wood.
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That’s not good. You could ask the pastor about what you are seeing and see how he explains it.
The answers you get from the people in this forum usually have an agenda.
It may well be that the pastor also has an agenda and speaking to him about it would at least let you know what it is.
On the other hand he may tell you that the church is being renovated slowly and the various decorations are awaiting for the ability to pay for them.

[quote=KimM]The wooden bowls and chalices are just plain laquered wood.
[/quote]

There are some types of wood that might be considered to be ‘precious’ by some cultures. Of course, the problem is that anyone outside of that culture wouldn’t understand the significance.

In any case, you might want to ask if there is a story behind the design of the church and/or the sacred vessels that are used. The answer you get might help you decide if this is a parish you want to stay with or if you want to look elsewhere.

[quote=mosher]Wood is not an allowed material in the US and most of the Western world. Not even tabernacles are allowed to be crafted of wood.
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Thank you. I did not know that.

[quote=Joe Gloor]Thank you. I did not know that.
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There are some minor exceptions but that is the general rule.

[quote=KimM]Yes, the host is served from wooden bowls and the wine from wooden cups.
[/quote]

That is the case in our parish. They are turned from a non-porous hardwood and than sealed with a sealer. They were made by one of our retired parishioners on his handy lathe and have been in use for about ten years during which time none have broken. Depending on the design wooden vessels can be very sturdy. I would be very reluctant to say that these are a sign of our dissent or heterodoxy or whatever. My opinion of our parish as far as our priests, Parish Council, and Committees is very orthodox in its liturgy and teaching. The parishioners in general do run the spectrum. We have 24 hour adoration for five days of the week. Dick(the Pharisee) at St. Pats

Like you?
Dude, that’s pretty judgemental there.

[quote=tadly]Like you?
Dude, that’s pretty judgemental there.
[/quote]

All responses have an agenda. One would hope that as a Catholic the only agenda we have is firm adherence to the dictums of the Church apart from our individual likes and dislikes.

[quote=rwoehmke]That is the case in our parish. They are turned from a non-porous hardwood and than sealed with a sealer. They were made by one of our retired parishioners on his handy lathe and have been in use for about ten years during which time none have broken. Depending on the design wooden vessels can be very sturdy. I would be very reluctant to say that these are a sign of our dissent or heterodoxy or whatever. My opinion of our parish as far as our priests, Parish Council, and Committees is very orthodox in its liturgy and teaching. The parishioners in general do run the spectrum. We have 24 hour adoration for five days of the week. Dick(the Pharisee) at St. Pats
[/quote]

They should be made of gold or another suitable material. Wood is not worthy to have the Eucharist on.

My mom’s priest just returned from a vacation in Guatemala or some such. He brought back wooden bowls and chalices which he used at Mass last Sunday. He justified it by saying we should be aware of how things are done in other cultures (The agenda behind that response is, “How DARE you have money, you filthy AMERICAN!”) I noticed the pastor didn’t shut off the central heating or electricity, things probably in scarce supply in Guatemalan churches.

But I guess even liberals have boundries. Namely, their own comfort. They’re fine if their actions cause others discomfort, but draw the line at their own pain.

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