Liturgical Space of Chapel Immaculate (Capela Imaculada)


Padre Joaquim Félix Carvalho



To understand the organization of the liturgical Immaculate Chapel space is important to know that the different dimensions were deeply reflected by Work Team: liturgical, architectural-spatial, iconic, aesthetic, etc.

The primary archetype, that presides the disposition, is the space where was instituted the Last Supper, in which Jesus instituted the Eucharist sacrament: all arranged around the one table. Placed in their midst, as one who serves, Jesus also washed their feet. Finally, he asked them to make memorial of the mystery of his total surrender (cf. Jn 13,1-17), as one who serves in love:

«I have set you an example so that you should do as I have done for you. Truly, truly, I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.» (Jo 13,15-17)

In this paradigm, the beginning and always current, which mainly promotes the liturgical participation of all ministries in the assembly of the People of God, according to the liturgical reform of Vatican II (cf. Sacrosanctum Concilium, n. 11), have the support some buildings on contemporary religious architecture.

To expand the horizons of information, it is important to know churches and chapels, not monastic or conventual, with organization of the liturgical space in many elements similar to the Immaculate Chapel: with altar and ambo to the assembly center, with focused chairs wards for these two liturgical references. Here is a non-exhaustive list:

 Christus Hoffnung der Welt, Wien, Áustria, Heinz Tesar, 1997-2000

 Cathedral Our Ladies of Angels, Los Angeles, USA, Rafael Moneo, 1996-2002

 St. François de Molitor, Paris, França, Jean-Marie Dutthilleul Corinne Callies, 2004

 Capela do Castelo de Rothenfels, Alemanha, Rudolf Schwartz, 1928

 St. Florian-Kirche, München, Alemanha, Floran Nagler, 2005

 St. Franziskus-Kirche, Bonn, Alemanha, Leo Zogmayer, 1998

 St. Marien-Kirche, Ahrensburg, Alemanha, Klaus Simon, 1953

 WallfahrtsKirche der Pallottiner, Vallendar (Koblenz), Alemanha, Hans Rams – Richard Baus, 2003

 St. Albert, Andernach, Alemanha, Rudolf Schwartz, 1954-1998

 Episcopalian Cathedral, Philadelphia, USA, Richard Giles, 2002

 Institut Sainte-Marie, Jambes, Belgica, R. Bastin, 1964-1965

 Capela da Maison Saint Yves, Chartres, França, Atelier Chéret, 2003

 St. Antonius Stuttgart-Kaltental, Alemanha, Pfeifer-Kuhn, 2006

 St. Elisabeth in der Auen, Bergisch –Gladbach-Refrath, B, Rotterdam, M. Schwartz (reorganização do espaço), 1990

 Santa Famiglia, San Sisto, Perugia, Itália, G. e R. Gresleri, 1998-2006

 Gesú Redentore, Modena, Itália, M. Galantino, 2007-2008

In the arrangement of space, we can read the relationships between the main liturgical references of the iconic program: altar, ambo, the presidency service chair, tabernacle, installation Body of Light (the risen Jesus), textile installations, Lady of Humility, Our Lady of Tenderness, Immaculate Lady (old sculpture), Via Crucis, Via Lucis, etc. Change them without more, will endanger the whole construction of intelligence that sustains it. A disaster! It will be like taking the hands to a clock; simple and fragile, but important to indicate the time. The clock fails to fulfill its mission.

Let us take some of the challenges of Pope Francis, to renew the Church of Jesus: «You have to lose the spirit of resistance to change». And: «The three concrete love of languages: the language of the head, the language of the heart and the language of the hands. There has to be harmony between the three, so you think you feel and what you do, feel what you think and what you do and do what you feel and what you think. This is concrete. Stay only in the virtual is like living in a disembodied head.»

In the Immaculate Chapel we can experience what it means sincerity, humility, denudation, the splendor of truth.