04 April 2006

Homemade Cathedral: The Beginning

Notre Dame Cathedral- Paris, France

Ok, so we don't have 158 years on our hands, but I thought it'd be fun to build a cathedral so the girls and I could understand how the "people of yore" used architecture to honor the Lord.

I have been attracted to the beauty and grandeur of cathedrals and abbeys for many years, and have had the marvelous opportunity to visit several of them while we lived in Europe. To me, there are few things as exciting as human hands put to work for the honor and glory of God. Cathedrals represent creative vision, a true labor of passion, craftsmanship at its finest, and Biblical teaching at its most varied and beautiful.

Chartres Cathedral- Chartres, France

Can you imagine being the chief architect, knowing that you will probably not live to see your vision completed? Imagine yourself a resident of the cathedral town. Year by year observing the progress as you go to the market and the boulangerie, knowing your tithes and offerings were helping to create a place where generations of Christians would come to learn the truths of Scripture and worship the Lord. (Ok, it's a bit of a romantic twist on the realities of the Gothic cathedral, but I'm prone to romanticism.)

These awesome feats often took over a century to build. War, disease, lack of funds, lack of materials, lack of workers, lack of engineering and architechtural know-how...
And since our family doesn't have a century (but we've still somehow managed to come up with our fair share of war, disease, and all the rest!!) we opted to skip the stonework and go the cardboard box route.

Westminster Abbey- London, England

Step 1: Get the word out to all the relatives that we're looking for large cardboard boxes. Check with our local freecycle group. Ask the produce department at our grocery store for their leftover pumpkin, watermelon and pomegranate boxes.
We ended up with several huge moving boxes, an appliance box and a pumpkin box. (Thanks Mom!)

Step 2: Draw the floorplan of your cathedral.
As you draw, sing this song so you can remember the main parts of a cathedral.

(To the tune of Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes)
"Apse, choir, transept, nave- transept, nave.
Apse, choir, transept, nave- transept, nave.
Flying buttress, gargoyle and the rose window.
Apse, choir, transept, nave- transept, nave!"

Step 3: Paint a whole bunch of butcher paper with gray paint to look like stonework. Because you don't want to spend eons trying to cover over the pictures of pumpkins and the writing on the cardboard boxes, this seems like the next best option.

Step 4: Get your handy husband and his new power saw to help cut out the windows and doorways for your cathedral.

Step 5: Take a break to host a tea party for your friends. More on our cathedral construction to come.


Blogger Abby said...

Ye hast piqued mine interest! Verily, your servant dost eagerly await that glorious day when thy miniature house where the Lord doth dwell shalt be completed and mine eyes will see thine fair maidens aplenty (and alas! also thy single rogue), celebrate the victory over gourds and inscriptions at the hand of thy saw and artistry. I seek to share thy joy on the day of completion. (P.S. You can get some pretty big boxes, like refrigerator-size, from Best Buy if you're still looking)

8:23 AM  
Blogger relevantgirl said...

You are the most fun mom EVER. Can you be my mommy?????

I saw the Duomo last week. Now, there's a cathedral!
Oh my!

10:01 AM  

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