Bryn Athyn Cathedral, Pennsylvania
I visited this chapel for a Christmas service during my first Christmas in the United States. At the time I was an Architectural Engineering major because I took a keen interest in structures, so it comes as no surprise that this cathedral made such a lasting impression. I marveled at the sheer magnitude of the building, and the masterful masonry. While I am unsure what kind of stone was used for the building, it was kind of dark, and the pieces were much smaller than that of Lincoln Memorial.
Despite the time of the year, the cathedral was warm, probably because of all the candles around the whole cathedral and the blankets on most seats. I was not particularly religious at the time, so there was an uncomfortable element to being at the church, its size probably did not help. I noticed that this church, as large as it was, housed a close-knit community which was evident from the amount of time spent chatting after church: that to was an uncomfortable experience because I kept being asked about how I found the service and being asked about where I was from. I get a feeling that this community was also quite charitable because the friend – whose host family had taken me there – was at Bryn Athyn College on a church-based scholarship. The mention of being from an African country did not help my case because they gave me pity eyes, and I was showered with “If there’s anything you need, let us know”.Overall, while I marveled at the architecture and to some degree the way that Christmas was celebrated in the USA, my time at this church was slightly uncomfortable.