2 Stars Out Of 5
May 12, 2013
I did my usual scan of the blurbs first - The back cover notes that Father Barron wrote the preface!
This book was a little slow to pick up steam. It doesn't begin to cover the "parts" of a church (beginning with the shape) until page 69 of 217.
Perhaps the best thing about the book is considering one's own parish while reading about a church's parts. It's also fun imagining giving a non-Catholic a "tour" of one's church. That said, you may find it difficult to concentrate on what you're reading. Okay, that's just me.
My own church was built and completed less than 2 years ago, yet I recognize its cruciform. Maybe I'll keep straight a "nave" and an "apse." And maybe I'll have an intelligent response when I hear a non-Catholic rib Catholics for the variety of postures (sitting, kneeling, standing) assumed during the Mass. You know what else rubbed me the wrong way, even though I loved the message: when my own pastor did a little "demonstration," but on the altar, to hit home a point about putting Jesus first. The authors say, "Only the vessels, fabrics, and books required for the celebration of the Mass may be placed on the altar table."
But the bottom line: This one's easily skipped. There are plenty of other options that will make you holier, a better witness, and just happier that you spent time on it.