9/27/2011

say three hails marys, turn around, pray about it

One of my biggest aesthetic inspirations comes directly from my own childhood. I grew up Catholic and a deep appreciation the beauty of Catholicism has always remained with me, even if my faith in its doctrines have long since subsided. I've always admired the way Catholicism inspires such passion and the fervor with which believers create atmospheres of holiness. For Catholics, celebrating the beauty of our religion is the ultimate physical realization of our faith.

While I don't agree with reappropriating religious symbols for uh, trendy purposes (like this for example), I do believe that inspiration comes from all places. The mysticism, sanctity, and reverance of Catholic icons and imagery is something that everyone can appreciate.

I stopped into St. Patrick's Cathedral while sightseeing on 5th Avenue in New York, and took some photos. A bit of humility was exactly what I needed during Fashion Week. I sincerely you'll appreciate its beauty as much as I do.













7 comments:

the line sheet said...

I actually work by this place. Sometimes when I feel overwhelmed from the city/life I'd go in! I forgot about that! For sure I am in need of that now!

Beautiful pics!

Isabel said...

YES! I was raised with no religion (Atheist Jew dad, New Agey mom) but Catholic churches are beautiful. There's one in Montreal - Notre Dame, I think - that is unlike anything else I've ever seen before. i think Celine Dion got married there, haha!

On another note, you should visit Montreal! I think you'd love it! (I don't live there but it rules!)

billie said...

Have you been to St. James in Chicago? It looks very similar. They have lovely free concerts every other saturday afternoon. The acoustics are incredible. The windows are too!

http://www.windows.org/events.html

meg said...

i was raised suuuuper catholic too and i feel the same way! i honestly still love going to mass on christmas too just because it's so beautiful.... when i was a child the only time we ever went to NYC was for christmas, and we would always go to rockefeller center to see the tree, then to st patricks where my mother would light a candle and pray for a minute which was so overwhelming and grandiose and scary and beautiful when i was a kid, especially at christmas, and then i'd get to go to FAO Schwartz and the radio city msuic hall christmas show, which was always SUCH a treat for me as a kid... i still go to st patricks at christmas alone almost every year just to walk through because i'm so nostalgic for those memories and how beautiful it always is.

i on the other hand though have NO problem appropriating decontextualized symbols of my abandoned faith... haha. i wear rosary beads all the time still as a necklace and literally have no qualms about it. i mean, dude, i sat through how many lectures where the bishop talked about how homosexuality and muslim people are evil? i can re-appropriate symbols of the culture i was raised with and contaminate it with my gay liberal sinfulness ALL I DAMN WANT :p

Meagan said...

I agree. Catholic school ruined my view on Catholicism because it was so ucky. But I love the beauty of it and I know that the religion isn't bad, just my experience was.

Maureen said...

I was also raised Catholic, and feel the same way about it. I'm nt really a practicing catholic, but I still lik going to mass, especially Polish mass. I go to cathedrals whenever I can. I feel the same was about cross shirts and necklaces, because I feel that if it was a religious symbol from another religion it would be offensive, but for some reason it is considered alright if it is a cross...

Amy Creyer said...

truly beautiful photos Meagan. not that I expected anything less. The photo third from the bottom is particularly striking. The way you captured the architecture, the sense of soaring height and power through design, is remarkable. After all, weren't Catholic churches built specifically to induce feelings of awe and majesty in parishioners, to communicate the power of God through design?