Before and After: Our Lady of Grace, South Houston, Texas

The liturgical firm, Granda Liturgical Arts, recently shared a before and after view of a project they worked on at the parish of Our Lady of Grace in South Houston, Texas in the autumn of 2018. The project was no doubt a challenging one, taking place within the context of a piece of brutalist architecture and a sanctuary arrangement characteristic of the mid 20th century post conciliar revisions. 

In looking at the before versus after state, I would invite our readers to once again consider which sanctuary ordering is the more truly indicative and characteristic of the "noble simplicity" so often spoken of within this period:


As was typical of the period, in the before state we see a cluttered and unfocused sanctuary. As we have described it before, it is a sanctuary which is trying to cram into a single visual space as many liturgical and devotional ideas as it can. The end result is both disorganized, uninspiring and chaotic.

Now let us take a look at the after.


In the after, while a more ornate altar and grand reredos have now been installed, the net result of the renovations is a far more organized, noble, simple and liturgically focused sanctuary -- something that could further be increased further by the uniting of the altar and the reredos (but these things take time let us recall). The key here, aside from the removal of the disconcordant parts and pieces surrounding the altar, is the unifying force that the reredos brings to the entirety of the whole. No longer are various pieces competing with one another; they are now visually united and working in harmony with one another. 

A couple of further details of the new arrangement.

For more information see Granda's website or visit them on social media

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