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Sacred Senses in Sacred Space: A Journey into a Church (Hardcover)

Sacred Senses in Sacred Space: A Journey into a Church By John Darretta, Steven Grubiak (Photographer) Cover Image
By John Darretta, Steven Grubiak (Photographer)
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Entering a church, our senses are sparked. We see candlelight, the colorful windows, and statues. We smell the faint burning wax and incense. We touch our foreheads with holy water and our knees to the floor. During Mass, we hear bells and the choir singing, and taste the sacrament. Some would say we are overwhelmed with physical objects but not spiritual essence. However, how does one know the spiritual essence if not through the physical objects? Knowledge comes through the senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. We achieve understanding and move further into spiritual awareness. Our senses communicate symbols that are physical signs of the abstract, the spiritual, and the metaphysical.

SACRED SENSES IN SACRED SPACE contributes to a greater understanding and reverence for sacred objects as perceived through the senses designed for the layman rather than an academic study of the historical or liturgical origins of sacred objects and images. Sacred Senses guides the reader through a church on a meditative journey down the sanctuary's central aisle. Along the way, it reveals what we see, hear, smell, taste, and touch, which moves us from the physical to the spiritual.

It begins with an introductory chapter on using your senses and recognizing signs in a sacred space. The book is organized according to the five senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. Listed under each specific sense are various objects and practices that we experience in church with a page of description, definition, background, and meditative comments, and a scriptural reference. Each chapter showcases a relevant photograph and ends with a pertinent quote or poetic verse, so that the sacred objects are revealed and revered. Together, the pages quickly explain and show each object with its beauty, meaning, and purpose within the sacred space.

Teaching the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) and Religious Education programs for adults and youths, I discovered students of the Catholic faith must know the truth about the "smells and bells" of the Catholic Church and their spiritual significance. Yet, I have known Catholics who do not fully understand why we have statues, fonts, tabernacle, ringing bells, burning candles, swirling incense, and more. Sacred Senses in Sacred Space is an excellent devotional and educational experience for use in RCIA and Religious Education programs, book clubs, and for inquisitive audiences.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781662927225
ISBN-10: 1662927223
Publisher: Gatekeeper Press
Publication Date: July 12th, 2022
Pages: 126
Language: English