My hometown of Pittsburgh, PA is celebrating it's 250th birthday this year. Throughout the year we are getting to celebrate in many different ways. Currently we are celebrating the transformational quaility of light as a reminder that Pittsburgh has also been transformational throughout history. Under the direction of Lucette de Rugy of Artlumiere, international designers have transformed building facades into stunning works of art. Pictured here is the Cathedral of Learning of the campus of the University of Pittsburgh. Additionally, numerous Houses of Worship are lighted in subtle ways, under the direction of Adam Koe Leong, to showcase architectural detail and stained glass best seen at night. Pittsburgh recognizes the importance that faith and worship has played in its history.
Last night I had the opportunity to witness several of these buildings. They were absolutely stunning! As my daughter reacted dramatically to the effect it led me to think of times in worship that the experience had been enhanced with unique lighting. I remember an Easter sunrise service, an Advent Taize service lit by candelight, and a Lenten Tenebrae service. We try to remember the senses outside of auditory when planning worship...such as the visual which typically means stoles, paraments and banners, or the sense of smell with incense or a fresh baked loaf of bread for Communion. How does the use of light come into play when we plan a worship service? Bright light, no light, directed light, diffused light, lights that change, natural light, colored light....so many options...thanks be to God for light!