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Gwyneth Holston is a sacred artist who works to provide and promote good quality Catholic art. Her website is gwynethholston.com.
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“It would be a grave error to imagine that the principle orientation of the sacrificial action is towards the community. If the priest celebrates «VERSUS POPULUM», which is legitimate and often advisable, his spiritual attitude ought always to be «VERSUS DEUM PER JESUM CHRISTUM», as representative of the entire Church.”
— Official Vatican Statement (25 September 2000)

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Archbishop Sample’s Letter On Sacred Music (8 of 8)
published 23 June 2014 by Gwyneth Holston

GWYN_oliver T WAS WITH A GREEDY HEART that I read Bishop Sample’s Pastoral Letter on Sacred Music in Divine Worship “Rejoice in the Lord Always.”

      * *  Archbishop Sample Letter (2013)

Rather than enjoy a moment’s contentment with the professional musical standards he put forth for the Diocese of Marquette, all I could do was eagerly dream of a similar document for sacred artists.

To save Bishop Sample the trouble, here are a few recommendations that I wouldn’t mind seeing promulgated to my own diocese:

• All tabernacles should be restored to a central position over the high altar immediately;

• Any statues or artworks that are theologically incorrect or obviously in poor taste should be removed immediately;

• Churches built prior to 1950 may not be sold, demolished or renovated without just cause;

• When renovation is necessary, stylistic continuity should be maintained with the intent of the original architect;

• Fresh flowers should be given “pride of place” on the altar over artificial flowers or dentist-office plants;

• The diocese should have a directory of recommended sacred artists;

• The diocese should have a dossier of the original historical architectural documents of each church to facilitate restoration projects;

• Classes on sacred art, music, and culture should be offered as part of the catechetical program to children and adults.


This is part of an 8-part series on Archbishop Sample’s historic letter:

FIRST REFLECTION • Jeff Ostrowski

SECOND REFLECTION • Aurelio Porfiri

THIRD REFLECTION • Andrew Motyka

FOURTH REFLECTION • Peter Kwasniewski

FIFTH REFLECTION • Richard Clark

SIXTH REFLECTION • Veronica Brandt

SEVENTH REFLECTION • Fr. David Friel

EIGHTH REFLECTION • Gwyneth Holston