While I am not religious, I continue to be overwhelmingly impressed with the amazing craftsmanship and beauty of the old world cathedrals — whether they are missions, urban cathedrals, or small chapels.
There is nothing more powerful to me than watching sunlight stream through stained glass windows. It doesn't matter if the design is abstract, a scene from the bible, the cross or Jesus with his flock, I am always, always, always drawn to the complete beauty of the window. I take pictures of stained glass windows hoping to capture that moment when my breath is taken away.
And as much as I adore the windows, I love the craftsmanship of wooden pews. The warm caramel tones of the wood, the graceful curves of the backs, the lovingly warn benches, and the feet –often a hidden amusement. I believe the wood absorbs the hopes, dreams, sorrow, sadness, joy and wishes of the people who have occupied them. The wood is filled with the history of each person who has stopped to worship, be it for a moment, a year, or a lifetime.
Cathedrals tend to be filled with both altars and statues. Again, I am drawn to those which are lovingly maintained. The warm wood of the statues overlaid with soft colors, carved to convey serenity, peace, and love. They are there to accept you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. You are invited to pray in your name, or for another, all part of one great global community.
There is something exquisitely beautify about Cathedrals, both in their design as well as their intent.