Ship of Fools: Memorial Presbyterian, St Augustine, Florida, USA


imageShip of Fools: Memorial Presbyterian, St Augustine, Florida, USA

Ship of Fools

Read the full Mystery Worshipper report here


Comments

  • boston_irishboston_irish Shipmate Posts: 14
    This church certainly is an American ‘Royal Peculiar’. It is very ornate inside and out. Something not usually seen in the Presbyterian tradition in America. From the outside it resembles St Mark’s in Venice. Inside The Apostle’s Creed is stenciled above the Byzantine design sanctuary. Behind the Pulpit is an enormous painting of St Augustine. High Church indeed! I hope the two Johns, Calvin and Knox haven’t rolled over in their graves.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    edited November 2020
    Memorial Pres isn’t the only ultra-ornate Presbyterian church in the States—East Liberty and Shadyside in Pittsburgh also come to mind—but such ornateness certainly isn’t the norm.

    I very much doubt that, though, the liturgy followed was taken from Rite II in the BCP. Much more likely, I think, is that is was drawn from the Service for the Lord’s Day in the PC(USA)’s 1993 Book of Common Worship. The Service for the Lord’s Day is similar in many respects to Rite II, but with some differences and distinctives, including some referred to in this report.

    Given that the report is 12 years old, though, we may never know for sure. :smiley:
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    If you can only think of a couple of others, it seems very far from the norm! Certainly far from the usual understanding of a Presbyterian church. The former Wahroonga Presbyterian Church (now Uniting) is a very fine building both inside and out, but while the interior detailing is excellent, it's much plainer than this. Unfortunately I can't find an online link that has any photos.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    If you can only think of a couple of others, it seems very far from the norm! Certainly far from the usual understanding of a Presbyterian church. The former Wahroonga Presbyterian Church (now Uniting) is a very fine building both inside and out, but while the interior detailing is excellent, it's much plainer than this. Unfortunately I can't find an online link that has any photos.
  • Gee D wrote: »
    If you can only think of a couple of others, it seems very far from the norm!
    The two I mentioned are, along with Memorial in St. Augustine, the three that come to mind when one I’m thinking in terms of over-the-top ornateness among American Presbyterians. And yes, they are far from the norm.

    If one were to kick it down a notch or two to more highly decorated neo-Gothic or neo-Romanesque or the like, then I could easily think of many more. And I would indeed be remiss if I didn’t mention the neo-Egyptian design of Downtown Presbyterian in Nashville, Tennessee.

    But yes, on the whole Presbyterians here still tend toward simpler design.

  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Those attending in Nashville must be stronger than I - a few minutes of looking at that, and I'd be running around begging to be taken out!

    The continuing Presbyterians at Wahroonga lost out badly in the great division of property. St John's went to the new Uniting Church while the Presbyterians were given the old Methodist buildings. It's hard to imagine a more dour house of worship.

    Sorry for the diversion on the Mystery Worshipper thread.
  • The congregation of the Scots Kirk in Mosman ( a suburb on the north side of Sydney Harbour) got lucky in keeping the building which is the most gorgeous exuberant Arts & Crafts number ( with a nice little pipe organ)
  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth Mystery Worship Editor
    Let's keep this thread to a discussion of the service our Mystery Worshipper attended at Memorial Presbyterian. A discussion of Presbyterian ecclesiastical architecture in general, with specific examples of other churches, belongs elsewhere.

    @Amanda B Reckondwyth
    Lead Editor, Mystery Worship
Sign In or Register to comment.