Thursday, September 21, 2006

LA Our Lady of the Angels

It was Martha's birthday today, so along with a friend we toured Los Angeles, principally the new cathedral Our Lady of the Angels. Oh my! I was unprepared for the stately beauty in the middle of the smog and the traffic, an island of stability and calm in a noisy place. It is oriented East/West to tell the story of Easter sun-rise in the chancel and judgement setting in the narthex. The interior soars with light coming through alabaster panels. The sides of the sanctuary walls are paneled with tapestries, embroidered with immages of the lives of the saints of the whole church (obviously less some Protestant names).
I got homesick for Salem Covenant in New Brighton when I saw the magnificent pipe organ tucked in the front corner of the chancel. It is paneled in cherry wood and seems ready to launch. We stayed for a noon mass. But the organ was used timidly to accompany the organmaster as he chanted the mass. It was not turned loose for a big sound.
At noon time I made a quick count of 150 people in front of us (we were half-way down the nave). The population was a hodge-podge mix of ethnicities, genders and social groups. They all came to worship is a sacred space in the city of Angels.


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