Monday, June 11, 2007

National Cathedral

I went to the National Cathedral this weekend. It's an impressive gothic building filled with beautiful stained glass windows, wrought iron works, wood, tapestries and other forms of art.

It was obvious that a lot of time and money had gone into this place.

Overall, I left feeling as though I had visited a very nice museum. It was a little too dark to take very good photos inside with my camera without a tripod. The signage was plentiful. The brochures-- helpful. All of the benefactors were carefully credited for their contributions. There were lots of flags, statues of former presidents, colorful windows depicting the 1803 Lewis and Clark expedition, a tribute to lawyer and histioran Charles Warren, the Apollo XI mission (complete with a piece of moon rock brought back by its crew), a tribute to our armed forces, a memorial to a diplomat and statesman, one for an architect of the building, symbols of the Laugue of Nations, the United Nations and (I'm not making this up) "peaceful uses of atomic energy". There's even a Museum Store!

However, I didn't feel as though I had visited a living church. I was not motivated to worship by the thousands of pieces of art. The whole thing was kind of scary, to tell the truth. I guess that's partially a product of the gothic style. But it just didn't seem like is was a place dedicated to Christ. Christ was simple and humble and..... well, He was a lot of things. He is a King, it's true. Perhaps this place was someone's way of showing Him as King, but, to me it looked a whole lot more like the type of king the world was hoping he would be and not the type he actually was. It was this difference that caused people to reject him when he came as a servant instead of a political and military ruler.
But it sure was a pretty building.

1 comment:

BlackVelvetLace said...

Kinda like the Catholic churches of my youth.