I love it when a church feels like a church.
Smells like a church. (incense)
Looks like a church.
We sang at St. James Anglican on Sunday evening for their Advent Carol service which is loosely based on the King's College tradition. And it was LOVELY. Readings from Scripture, but also from Madeleine L'Engle and other authors who have written beautifully about scriptural events.
The choir sings from the loft which I also love. Namely, because we get to look at the beautiful front of the church. With it's candles and beautiful altar and woodwork and...(sigh). Worshipping in a place like that gives me "tradition envy"... you know, where you wish you came from a tradition other than that of boxy 60-70's "all purpose" architecture that has morphed into "community college" styles. (ever noticed that these new huge churches even call their locations "campuses"?)
Okay, enough rant. But really, it was BEAUTIFUL. And the building really makes the human voice RING. Love it.
The other thing I love about St. James is that it is right smack dab in the middle of the downtown eastside. There are always people sleeping on its steps. (okay, I don't love that they're out on the steps, but I love that the church is right there!) And I think I also have a special love for it, knowing that my friend Donna's amazing piece about Communion takes place as she makes her way from her community house on the other side of the park to St. James.
I know that we can worship anywhere...but I sure hope that the new heaven and new earth include some of history's greatest church architects.