This article asks the kinds of questions that force congregations to think about the power of their worship space to form worship that is faithful to the gospel and meaningful to all participants. The questions are asked in light of the Reformed tradition, but can be modified to reflect the specific theological commitments of any given worshiping community.
Church buildings should be designed with consideration of how the general public will relate to the space they define. Church architecture is one language by which the witness of the church may be made known. Church buildings may be valuable to a community both as a space for communal activity and as a symbol of what community stands for.
Symbols, including liturgical symbols, communicate to us on many levels. This article explores the profound nature of symbolic communication, based on the approach of scholar Paul Ricoeur, and offers suggestions for how liturgical symbols can be made to speak more clearly and profoundly.
Symbols are a primary means by which the truth of the gospel is communicated. They communicate to us through all our senses and on many levels, to our thinking and our feeling, our memory, and our imagination. Further, symbolic language serves to unite Christians, giving them a common reference point and experience that transcends divisions within the Christian community.