CHRISTIANS CARE. Spring 2016 - Page 22

Composing Liturgical Space : A Design Thesis

MATTHEW BARLEY
I want to begin by asking you to think about your weekly church service and the space in which you worship . Does the spatial design work with or against the liturgical worship experience ? What if there was a way to spatially communicate the progression of feelings we experience within the different parts of liturgy ? Is there a way to use architecture as a tool to gain a deeper understanding of God and how He is transforming us by worship and liturgy ? These are the questions I address in my Interior Architecture design thesis at Rhode Island School of Design .
Liturgy , or Christian worship service , is composed of six components : The Call to Worship , Atonement , Supplication , Proclamation , Eucharist , and Benediction . Although different denominations of Christianity practice each component with varying levels of emphasis , all have the same underlying structure to the service .
In this article , I will briefly outline the six components of trinitarian liturgy and offer a possible design solution that complements each component , all with the hopes of bringing people closer to God and uniting the body of Christ .
Design Solution for the Six Components of a Worship Service
The Call to Worship
The liturgical service formally begins when clergy or an elder summons the congregation to worship and asks God for His presence during service .
Supplication Matthew Barley ’ 16
I have designed the the Call to Worship space with four sides , to remind the participants that God is drawing people from the four corners of this earth and the community to worship Him . In this space people should feel deeply meditative as they prepare to worship God . To facilitate this , the space will be dark with a few candles burning . Two walls will be covered with mirrors from floor to ceiling , with semi opaque glass suspended in front of the mirrors , creating the illusion of an infinite box . This material effect will suggest that the participant is part of a large history of saints that have come before and those in the future .
Transitions
To facilitate my correlated liturgical spatial experience , I am proposing the congregation move from space-to-space as they progress through the service . When it is time to transition to the next part of the liturgy , the congregants will sing as they move to the new architectural space . As the congregation becomes acquainted with the spaces these movements and songs should appear like waltzing through the architecture .
The Atonement
When believers privately and / or publicly confess their sins and ask for forgiveness . Typically , Catholics and Orthodox Christians confess to a priest , whereas Protestants confess silently to God .
This space would consist of three separate confession areas . Each confesion area will feel like a hallway that ends with the participant kneeling at a large glass window . They will be constricted , yet , bathed in light . Here is where the participant confesses sin ; when they are finished they turn and leave the space , and the light that once blinded them now illuminates their path .
Supplication
This is when prayers are offered for the congregation , for the regional body of Christ , and for believers around the world . It is common for tithes and offerings to be taken during Supplication , as believers show their gratitude towards God for the blessings He has given them .
This space is designed around two primary functions , Prayers and the sacrament of baptism . It will be much brighter than the previous two spaces , signifying that the church has been washed clean of sins and is now in the presence of God . Because people will be primarily praying in this space , incense will be burnt to signify the congregation ’ s prayers ascending . The upward moving smoke will be a visual manifestation
20 CORNERSTONE Magazine
Composing Liturgical Space: A Design Thesis MATTHEW BARLEY I want to begin by asking you to think about your weekly church service and the space in which you worship. Does the spatial design work with or against the liturgical worship experience? What if there was a way to spatially communicate the progression of feelings we experience within the different parts of liturgy? Is there a way to use architecture as a tool to gain a deeper understanding of God and how He is transforming us by worship and liturgy? These are the questions I address in my Interior Architecture design thesis at Rhode Island School of Design. I have designed the the Call to Worship space with four sides, to remind the participants that God is drawing people from the four corners of this earth and the community to worship Him. In this space people should feel deeply meditative as they prepare to worship God. To facilitate this, the space will be dark with a few candles burning. Two walls will be covered with mirrors from floor to ceiling, with semi opaque glass suspended in front of the mirrors, creating the illusion of an infinite box. This material effect will suggest that the participant is part of a large history of saints that have come before and those in the future. Liturgy, or Christian worship service, is composed of six components: The Call to Worship, Atonement, Supplication, Proclamation, Eucharist, and Benediction. Although different denominations of Christianity practice each component with varying levels of emphasis, all have the same underlying structure to the service. Transitions In this article, I will briefly outline the six components of trinitarian liturgy and offer a possible design solution that complements each component, all with the hopes of bringing people closer to God and uniting the body of Christ. Design Solution for the Six Components of a Worship Service The Call to Worship The liturgical service formally begins when clergy or an elder summons the congregation to worship and asks God for His presence during service. Supplication Matthew Barley’16 To facilitate my correlated liturgical spatial experience, I am proposing the congregation move from space-to-space as they progress through the service. When it is time to transition to the next part of the liturgy, the congregants will sing as they move to the new architectural space. As the congregation becomes acquainted with the spaces these movements and songs should appear like waltzing through the architecture. The Atonement When believers privately and/or publicly confess their sins and ask for forgiveness. Typically, Catholics and Orthodox Christians confess to a priest, whereas Protestants confess silently to God. This space would consist of three separate confession areas. Each confesion area will feel like a hallway that ends with the participant kneeling at a large glass window. They will be constricted, yet, bathed in light. Here is where the participant confesses sin; when they are finished they turn and leave the space, and the light that once blinded them now illuminates their path. Supplication This is when p ^Y\\Hٙ\Y܈HۙܙY][ۋ܂HY[ۘ[Hو\ [܈[Y]\\[Bܛ ]\[[ۈ܈]\[ٙ\[HZ[\[\X][ۋ\[Y]\Z\ܘ]]YB\܈H\[H\][[K\XH\\YۙY\[[X\H[[ۜ^Y\˜[HXܘ[Y[و\\K][H]XY\[H][\X\YۚYZ[]H\\Y[\YX[و[[\[H\[Hو X]\H[H[H[X\[H^Z[[\XK[[B[H\YۚYHHۙܙY][۸&\^Y\\[[˂H\\[ݚ[[H[HH\X[X[Y\][ۂԓTӑHXY^[B