I am not normally impressed by large cathedrals. I know this may just be my personal bias but I find beauty more in the simple places of worship where the focus is on the majesty of God instead of the works of man. I may be wrong but I feel as those places seem to elevate man rather than glorify God especially when you think of how much was spent on things like silver altars and golden lamp stands; funds that could be spent helping the needy.
But there is something special about the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain which was just consecrated by Pope Benedict XVI last weekend and honored with the designation of Basilica. I really think it is special. It has been a labor of love for God starting with architect Antoni Gaudi who gave his all to the erection of this church and it has been a labor of love since for all who have worked on her for more than 100 years. The work began in 1882 and is expected to be finally completed in 2026. For most of this time the funding has been raised through public donations and entry fees from its 3 million annual visitors. I have paid the fee twice so I am fairly sure there is a brick with my name on it somewhere.
If I were to summarize Sagrada Familia in one sentence, it would be “This has been an act of worship through the loving creation of a work of living art modeled in stone.” I have posted before on this and there is a video which I put together and both can be seen here.
Apart from the Pope’s consecration, it was also noteworthy as being the first time the central nave was used for a service. Until now, services had been held in Gaudi’s crypt. Hence this post to mark an important milestone in this Basilica’s story. Enjoy the pictures (all taken by LGS).