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Cathedral Restoration Project - Reynolds Hall as a Sacred Space

Reynolds Hall as a Sacred Space

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Making Sacred Space

The Cathedral’s renovation of the sanctuary this summer means services will take place in new space on campus starting Sunday, May 27: Reynolds Hall. However, it will not be the Reynolds Hall that parishioners have known and loved for years; it will be transformed, each Sunday, into a sacred space.

While this recurring conversion, from midweek Treebeards to Sunday worship space and then back again, will require some logistics and coordination, the planning committee has made every effort to create a worship place for “church as usual,” says David Simpson, chief operating officer. “Our message is ‘Come share community in a sacred space.’ This isn’t just services held in a conference room.”

Coming together

"My first bishop used to say that we consecrate holy things by their use,” says the very Rev. Barkley Thompson. “Just so, as we gather this summer in Reynolds Hall for Eucharist, it will become sacred space.

“It is our hope that this alternative space will look and feel familiar, enabling those who attend to experience church.”

In terms of duplicating some of the Cathedral’s liturgical architecture, for example, the sacred space will have a raised altar, lectern and pulpit. Seating – to accommodate typical summer attendance -- will be set up with aisles, though not with kneelers.

One way to ease the challenge of worship relocation is for the new space to incorporate what is familiar, the dean says. For example, facsimile of the glorious stained glass windows will frame the worship space, just as the windows do in the sanctuary itself. Photographer Mark Johnson is creating these vibrant renderings. Another example is the use of an altar, its frontals and earthenware service pieces, used each week at The Well.

Meanwhile, a new baby grand piano will accompany the Summer Choir. The instrument’s recent purchase was a wonderful bequest to support the Cathedral’s music ministries, the dean says.

With the parish hall slated for services on Sundays from May 27 to Aug. 19, Summer Place will be relocated to the Latham Building, and, weather permitting, outside.

As the time for transformation nears, the dean reminds us how “the Cathedral moves with us. It is still a familiar space.”

Tags: reynolds hall, sacred space, latham