If there is a place I love to be in more than a museum, it's a church. Churches are fascinating to me; no two are the same, and they all come with their own built-in art. Whether it's a stained glass window, a custom made altar, original pews, or the architecture itself, all churches have character. Even if your church happens in a paint store or a house, and the only art you have in your church is what the kids make in Sunday School, it's still special and beautiful. No one builds a church and says, "I'm going to make this as ugly as possible." I mean, I don't think anyone who builds buildings says that, but I feel there is special consideration taken with churches. Whether the altar faces East or West, how long the aisle is, how many windows, what kinds of arches...all of it is very important. In the Episcopal tradition, every thing has meaning. From the color of the paint on the ceiling to the names engraved in the Baptismal font, each detail is planned out and there for a reason. I love going in Episcopal churches, because while I may not know the reasons for all the details, I know that something meaningful is behind it. Here are some of the spaces I've been in recently:
This is All Saints' Chapel in Sewanee...it's one of my favorite Episcopal churches, not only because it's BEAUTIFUL, but because there have been some really important moments that have happened in this space. We always visit it when we're at camp or Winterfest, and it's also really lovely at night. I love stepping into a place like this and immediately understanding it's sacred space. There is just something special about it:
This is the Chapel of Transfiguration at Kanuga. Obviously, I love this place. I spent a lot of time during the week not going in this chapel. I took pictures from the outside from all angles, heard music playing from inside, and I wanted to go in, I really did. It was the only building I didn't wander into on my own, and I didn't understand why until I actually went in. As soon as I sat down in the pew, I felt comfortable, like I belonged there, and I didn't leave until long after my group had left. I was sorry that I hadn't gone in there until the last day I was there. This chapel is drastically different from the one in Sewanee, yet I felt the same sacredness of the space. This place is beautiful!