Thursday, February 4
Matthew Alderman at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary, Candlemas Day
Session 1: Unto the Altar of God: Liturgical Planning is the talkiest of the three sessions, dealing with the intersection of liturgy and the built environment, and what distinguishes an authentic traditional architecture from, variously, modernist monstrosities and an aesthetics solely grounded in nostalgia--often good, but not good enough.
Session 2: The Beauty of Holiness: Aesthetics and Theology: This session was occupied primarily by a follow-up activity led mostly by the students (which is not recorded here, unfortunately), who responded to my lecture with intelligent and probing comments; I was also able to briefly touch on the theology behind the ordered aesthetics of classical and traditional design, which you'll hear here, along with one or two off-topic Monty Python references. (Unfortunately, the slides are not online, so you may have a little trouble following me without the pictures when I refer to them.)
Session 3: Unless the Lord Build the House: Architecture for the Parish Priest was something of a clean-up session, including a guided discussion of the difference between plaster statuary, truly traditional liturgical art, and self-indulgent modern self-expression, as well as a primer on what a parish priest needs to know when he starts on a building project, including comments on choosing and working with an architect, fundraising, and making beauty work on a budget.
Please have a listen--the students' comments are in many cases just as interesting as my own observations, and probably even more so!