Richard S. Vosko

Musings on religion, art and architecture

What Makes a Place of Worship Holy?

1 Comment


The question is usually asked, “What does it take to make a sacred space?”

Here’s a starting point. Early Christian writer Saint John Chrysostom (347-407) once remarked in an Easter homily, and in so many words, it is not the building that makes the people holy, it is the people who make the building holy.

What do you think? Was John C. correct? How is his axiom useful today? Are there any other architectural, artistic or theological equations that might be used in making a place of worship holy?

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Author: Richard S. Vosko

Richard S. Vosko, Ph.D., Hon. AIA, is an internationally known sacred space planner. He is a presbyter in the Diocese of Albany who enjoys the classroom as much as the pulpit. On Sundays he presides at worship at St. Vincent de Paul Parish, Albany, NY. For more information on Vosko’s background, his projects, publications and speaking engagements please go to his website. For his homilies and occasional musings about religion, art and architecture go to his blog. Comments, questions and suggestions are always welcomed there.

One thought on “What Makes a Place of Worship Holy?

  1. When I worked at Catholic Charities in Amsterdam, I told the staff that our building was holy ground. I did not equate it to the people in the building as much as the work that was being accomplished. In reality it was the people making the space holy. I guess I also looked at what was happening in the space that makes someplace holy, not only in prayer, but how God was being made alive. So today, at our hospital we say we are an extension of the healing ministry of Jesus, so this is holy ground.

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