I have been to many churches and cathedrals in my life but none like the one we visited today. It was special.
It is known to be special. It is the crowning architectural creation of the Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi (1852 – 1926) called La Sagrada Familia (The Sacred Family). He began building it in 1885. It is still not finished. They expect that maybe by 2025 it will be completed and will be the tallest cathedral in the world.
Gaudi was a single man who was a committed Catholic. He loved to read the Scriptures. He loved the themes of the Scriptures. He has taken his theological reflections and architecturally incarnated them with such detail and with such stunning use of light and color that it is breathtaking.
Everywhere you look there is a Scriptural text or theme before you—most of them reflecting upon the person and work of Jesus. The four main pillars in the main basilica represent the four Gospels; the main doors of the basilica contain the text of the Lord’s Prayer in every major language.
Other pillars in the basilica are actually carved palm trees that suggest a forest – we are creatures before the Creator/we are in our worship of Christ looking for the “new heaven and earth”; side doors below the depiction of Christ’s passion contain the text of his last hours of life according to the Gospel of Matthew.
And when the final tower is built, it will be dedicated to Christ and the tallest existing cathedral tower in the world – his Lordship is emphasized everywhere.
The beauty I cannot describe nor could I adequately photograph. The stained glass, the most beautiful I have ever seen using color to depict Biblical themes of water, sun, blood, and Jesus’ resurrection, clear white glass. As the sun would reflect through these windows, of which there are many, the colors would illuminate the gray stone of the cathedral like a rainbow prism.
Look up and see “Gloria” before your eyes.
or “Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus” written all over the outer towers. Look up at a tower and see its setting of brilliant fruit, a tribute to the Creator or does it suggest the fruit of God’s kingdom?
I sat down in one of the small chapels attached to the main basilica where the Apostles Creed was before me in Spanish on one wall and English on another, and I happened to look up. There were seraphim on every attending column of the chapel looking down at me and laughing with joy.
I could go on and on. Michele and I noted that we had never been in a place that made us want to worship more, to sing, to hear God’s word, to pray. But by then it was 11:00 a.m. and the crowd was so thick we could barely exit.
May our love of God and his Son inspire such creative, dedicated, beautiful and delightful worship – for his glory, for our enjoyment. We love and miss all of you.