There’s a symbiosis between entering into the nave of the magnificent new Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus on Northshore Drive and the opening lines of Joseph Haydn’s equally glorious “The Creation,” presented by the Knoxville Handel Society earlier this week.

Past the tall columns on the church porch and through the front doors of the cathedral, into the narthex of Sacred Heart is an intentional quieting experience. One is leaving the profane outside world and entering the reality of sacred space. It’s a brief space intended for preparation.

The experience completely transforms again when one passes through the interior set of doors into the expansive cathedral nave, expansive in scale, lavishly appointed in both rich materials, rendered with superior craftsmanship, and spiritual symbolism.

Similarly, when conductor Wendell Boertje began the opening musical lines of the orchestra, there was a musical interpretation of the chaos that preceded creation.


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