I'm sure you all were anxiously awaiting my post.... JK
Before you all jump down my throat about "don't judge a book by its cover," and "don't be so focused on the external," please keep in mind that we as beings are both soul AND body, and the exterior matters to our interior disposition. Not to mention, it portrays visibly our ideas of God and what He deserves. So, here we go:
As you approach the Cathedral, it looks more like a mall than a house of God. If you happen to miss the cross-shaped design on the side, you might mistake it for a shopping center or office building. It's plain and unadorned, and not only that, there are very few signs that advertise the Cathedral. I didn't notice the cross design until I was heading in.
From the road/highway
It's a shopping center look-alike
With regards to the shopping center-ness of the space, it not only looks the part, but sports a café, garden, gift shop, and a very large (creepy...) parking garage. Even in my very liberal diocese, our Cathedral is not home to a café. That's just ridiculous and out of place.
From the website:
"Spanish architect, Professor José Rafael Moneo has designed a dynamic, contemporary Cathedral with virtually no right angles. This geometry contributes to the Cathedral's feeling of mystery and its aura of majesty [no, you're getting that confused with architecture that makes you think of the Glory and Beauty of God, like this:
]...The challenge in designing and building a new Cathedral Church was to make certain that it reflected the diversity of all people [yes, let's be people-centered]. Rather than duplicate traditional designs of the Middle Ages in Europe [I'd like to see someone try to duplicate anything of that style. They're all so unique and intricate!], the Cathedral is a new and vibrant expression of the 21st century Catholic peoples of Los Angeles [the purpose of distinct architecture is to draw people out of the world and out of the times, not to remind them of it]."
There are only a few statues or representations on the exterior of the Cathedral. One of them being:
This is supposed to be Mary. It looks more like an Egyptian or pagan god to me...
The interior is very modern and plain, with bare walls, no statues, and hardly any holy images. The only thing reflective of the Catholic Faith would be the long tapestries hanging along the wall depicting Saints. It's very drab, boring, and not very inspiring to me at all.
Looking up, you see a mixture of crooked walls and seemingly misplaced windows. It looks very messy and thrown together, instead of planned for the Glory of God.
You may have seen this image floating around of the consecration of a new altar:
That's the (of course, wonderfully square) altar of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. And oh, how nice that those "nuns" were able to participate. ... Get them off the altar. SMH.
When the Cathedral was being constructed, there were a couple of objections regarding the amount of money spent on it. In total, $250 million were spent on this Cathedral.
$1 million was spent for a tabernacle that nobody sees because...
Jesus is in a closet
And let's be honest. That tabernacle is hideous anyway.
The Confessionals are very odd. I went to Confession there on a Friday before Mass. The doors are actually wooden slabs with square-shaped (well, what other shape would they use?) holes throughout. You can kind of see the penitent if they're sitting face-to-face. Surprisingly, they also offer Confession through a screen. That's a plus.
Note the hol-ey doors
The floor of the Church is slanted so it gives the impression of an arena or a movie theatre more than a Church where the altar is supposed to be slightly elevated and is to be the focal point...
What's surprising is the fact that, despite the huge number of EMHCs, the liturgy itself that I witnessed was not all that bad. It was a typical Novus Ordo. I honestly expected a Mass filled with abuses, whereas this one wasn't perfect, but was live-through-able.
Check out the Wikipedia page about the Cathedral for details...
Thanks for reading my rant-style review. ;)