The Theology of our Flooring
Theology of Our Flooring
As we enter into this space of prayer and worship the first Sacramental element that we encounter is the Baptismal font. Our tradition in the Church is to bless ourselves with Holy Water to remind us that we have been baptized into Christ, and have become members of His Church to be Priest, Prophet and King to all people. Our new carpeting is an extension of this theology. This area of carpeting which begins in the Gathering Space and continues into the Sanctuary represents a sea, a sea which we must cross through in order to enter into a deeper relationship with God. We must die to ourselves, to the world which vies for our attention and seeks to consume us with all of its allure, excitement and “empty show” †.
We must surrender all of that which holds us back from God, in order to enter more fully into the great mystery of God’s presence. “The quality of appropriateness is demonstrated by the work’s ability to bear the weight of mystery, awe, reverence, and wonder that the liturgical action expresses and by the way it serves and does not interrupt the ritual action that have their own structure, rhythm, and movement.” (148 BLS)††.
As we move into the pews the flooring turns to wood, which represents the ship which carries us through the stormy waters [Mk. 4:37-41]. This vessel, this space in which we pray, is a vehicle by which we are able to traverse the stormy seas of our lives. So long as we have Christ and our trust is in Him, we shall never sink [Mt. 14:27-31]. As we approach the Altar of the Lord, we step back into the sea with faith in Christ, as we are now ready to receive Him in the physical presence of His Body and Blood. When it is time for us to leave and go forth, back into our everyday lives, we must remember all that has happened within our hearts during this time of worship. We do not just attend Mass once a week or once a day, we are called to live out the reality of Mass all day, every day.
The direction that the flooring has been laid seeks to remind us that everything goes forth from the Eucharist. The direction of the wood and the carpet all stems forth from the Eucharist, sending us out into the world, nourished and filled with grace. In the Gathering Space the carpet runs from Entryway to Entryway, this is to indicate that we go forth and proclaim the Gospel Message no matter which direction we take. The floor in the Fitzpatrick Hall has been laid out with one day in mind...Holy Thursday. As part of the first night of the Sacred Triduum there is an Altar of Repose set up in the Fitzpatrick Hall where The Blessed Sacrament will reside until midnight, reflecting the time that Jesus spent in the Garden of Gethsemane. The floor, like that in the Sanctuary, stretches forth from the Eucharist leading us out into the world.
As we leave, we must cross back through the stormy waters in order to enter the world of missionary territory. Our work has now begun. Let us go forth from our worship, crossing through the stormy waters of our lives and the lives of whom we encounter. Let us humble ourselves to meet everyone where they are, so that one day they, too, may enter the Vessel of life to receive the life-giving bread and saving cup.
Our carpet is more than just carpet; it is a symbol. Likewise, our faith is more than just faith; it is the living presence of God within our hearts. Let us share it with the world and invite them to enter our space of worship, to enter our hearts and become one in the Body of Christ.
†Roman Missal: Renewal of Baptismal Promises
†† Built of Living Stones: Art, Architecture, & Worship - USCCB 2000