Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Very Little Brown Church

We went to Vigil on Saturday night.  It lasted over 3 hours.   Before we left, Alexander - the 6 year old - asked both me and our priest if he could build a church.   He received blessings from both of us for this undertaking.  He wanted a small place where he could be by himself to pray - like the laundry room is a great hub of activity or something.  

He is going to build his church out of cardboard and duct tape - his usual building materials.   I'm supposed to print icons out from the internet to tape to the walls of the interior.  When we got home from liturgy he took 4 candle stubs a $5 bill out of his pockets.   HE  ALREADY HAS A BUILDING FUND.

Maybe I should have frisked him for incense.

Alexander asked his dad for help with construction, and got the usual reply - you have to have a building plan in place before we start.  Permits - shmermits.   So, he sat down and drew up a plan for a T shaped church with the "alter" off to the side, and a really big place for the "quire" to sing, candle stand positions clearly marked.

So, being the unfun, art history buff that I am, I tried to explain to him that churches need to follow one a of a couple of floor plans (and one of them happens to be square - the box in its natural state!).  There are rules about these things.  I tried to look up some floor plans on the internet, but all I could really find was Hagia Sohpia, and we don't have that much duct tape.  We discussed how our church is laid out, and the importance of arranging the space so that 2 choirs could sing antiphonally.  You have to have a narthex, or there won't be anyplace to spit during Baptisms - you know, the really important stuff.

Alexander made a new floor plan - this time in accordance with the usual rules, except that he had the "northex" on the north side of the structure.  I guess that makes sense.  As does the space marked "rest of the church".  Kinda sums it all up.

Then I asked him to whom his church would be dedicated.  He looked a little confused, and answered "Um . . . God?"  Yes, but usually churches are a little more specifically named.  "Oh yeah, Orthodox".  Great, but we go to a church dedicated to the Mother of God - who should your church be dedicated to.  He's thinking about it.  My husband is thinking that candle stands aren't such a good idea in a cardboard church.

I'm just hoping he doesn't want onion domes.  


  1. Great story, M! My son loves cardboard and duct tape too, but he usually makes weapons with them. Do you have a picture to share?

  2. You know, quire is actually the traditional English architectural term for where the choir is located. (So watch those "scare" "quotes.")

  3. "Building fund" may me laugh/snort out loud!!

    Welcome to the bloggy world ~

  4. Welcome to the blogosphere. I'm so glad you're here! You've already made my day with this post.