quote The vicious circle

“The priests and nuns order not what they prefer, but what mistakenly they think their people prefer. So the vicious circle revolves.”

“May I here be allowed an injunction to my brother priests? Please do not think that to carry out what is here recorded and to accomplish it by help of a good architect will necessarily be expensive. All that is written here can be done without much cost, provided a due procedure is observed. The thing to do is to begin by telling the architect exactly how much money you have to spend. Tell him also what you need in the church and let him deal with the problem (which is his problem, for he has been trained for it) how to secure what you want at a cost that is within your means. You will find that he will be able to offer you something that is above challenge from the point of view of the artist and yet not above the understanding of the people. It is indeed to be remembered that often enough our people have a desire for beauty above the level of the shop-article. Indeed, the shop is often enough itself ashamed of the article which it produces. But its experience is that the priests and nuns ask for the bad stuff, and that thus they cannot get away from it, much as they would like to do so. The priests and nuns order not what they prefer, but what mistakenly they think their people prefer. So the vicious circle revolves.”

— Very Rev. Bede Jarrett, O.P., introduction to The Liturgical Altar by Geoffrey Webb

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