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: