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LIBERATO, Armand Arne Q.


14 March 2016

Liturgical Time and Space

The light shines in the darkness, and
the darkness has not overcome it.
John 1:5
During his lecture at the Abbey of Our Lady of Montserrat, Dr. Piscos discussed the
churchs architecture and interior design, their relationship with the liturgical practice of those
who built it, and the historical context of its construction.
The most distinct features of the Church are its murals. Above the altar, in the half dome,
various biblical characters are depicted along with the artists interpretation of Heaven and Hell.
On the panels surrounding the altar, Jesus early life is illustrated. On the sides, as can be
commonly found on most Catholic churches in the Philippines, the fourteen (14) Stations of the
Cross are positioned on the arched walls. On the ceiling, the various murals portrayed various
representations of different virtues and vices. Another noteworthy feature of the church is that its
arches were designed to resemble two hands joined in prayer.
Looking at the murals, we could see that the artists incorporated their religious beliefs,
practices and experiences into their work. We could then consider building churches as acts of
worship a representation of ones religious beliefs a physical manifestation of the
communitys religious spirit. The Abbey of Our Lady of Montserrat is then a product of the
collective religious spirit of those people that built it.
From this, we could see that there is a mutual relationship between religious worship and
the Churchs design and construction. To illustrate, we consider that the religious beliefs and
practices of those who build churches are expressed through their work i.e. the churches they
build. However, we can also say that their religious beliefs and practices are shaped by the
Church or the religious community that they belong to.
Hence, when you enter the Abbey of Our Lady of Montserrat for example, what you see
is a combination of different manifestations of faith of the Churchs congregation, stretching
from the time it was built, up to the present. It is a symbol of the Churchs spirit and its
congregations perseverance.