Saturday, January 19, 2013

Built on a Firm Foundation

In the Bible book of Mark chapter 7, it talks about building one's house on a rock - a firm foundation, as an allegory for establishing a firm foundation for one's faith. I'm not sure if the sculptor Staude had this in mind when he conceived the Chapel of the Holy Cross or when the architect Strotz built the Catholic church in the beautiful red rocks of Sedona, but that's what came to mind for me when I saw it. Set amidst the Coconino National Forest (it seems a bit strange to me to see some forests in Arizona that are devoid of trees), the Chapel of the Holy Cross was completed in 1956, after decades of searching for the perfect spot. Just a year later, it was given the Award of Honor by the American Institute of Architects. It is now on the list of National Register of Historical Places.

A bright, clear day with the warmth of the sun, we walked up the steep curving road to get to the church. The massive cross, silhouetted against the panes of windows comprising nearly the entire front of the church interior, commanded its presence. What a view worshippers have, with the blue sky and red rock vistas! Lining the sides of the wall were rows of candles, lit in identical red jars. Although the lofty ceiling gave the church interior a vertical spaciousness, it didn't seem like the space would hold that many people for a service. Considered bold and audacious at the time of construction, it now is a major destination for visitors to the Sedona area, welcoming people of all faiths to enjoy its majesty.

No comments: