Archbishop's Blog

  • Ecclesial History in Architecture:

    Posted on September 7, 2017

    In my travels around Canada I often stop to observe local churches in towns and cities. The architecture of these buildings tell the story ‎of the faith in Canada. In the west for example, many old churches (not all) were built in the Gothic-Revival style reminiscent of the great northern European churches. This tells us that the spread of the faith was influenced by the missionaries who largely came from England, Ireland, Germany, Holland, Belgium and. France. Even though other nationalities would follow the immigration trends, these northern buildings are common throughout the west - some are much more modest than the church pictured below, a French Gothic Revival church in Medicine Hat, Alberta . One cannot help but look upwards towards the heavens when gazing at the facade and that is precisely the point - the Gothic Revival style with its steeples and pointed windows and archways is an attempt to recapture the sense of God's grandeur and our response by directing our minds and hearts towards him. The interiors have characteristically high ceilings and stained glass windows including rose windows in the transepts (seen below) which often depict Biblical narratives as a way of teaching the faith. The interior of these churches have colours refracted through the stained glass which provide a sense of the Kingdom and the New Jerusalem.

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