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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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“More and more as we grow older, we find that the people we see most of are recent acquaintances; not (perhaps) very congenial to us, but chance has thrown them in our way. Meanwhile, the people we used to know so well—for whom we once entertained such warm feelings—are now remembered by a card at Christmas (if we can succeed in finding the address). How good we are at making friends, when we are young; how bad at keeping them! How eagerly, as we grow older, do we treasure up the friendships that are left to us, like beasts that creep together for warmth!”
— Msgr. Ronald Knox (1888-1957)

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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