Locus Iste and Sacred Spaces

During high school, I developed a deep appreciation of choral music. Part of it was that I felt it connected me to divinity, to those around me, and to the past. Singing the same songs in the same places hundreds of years later seemed to create a bridge through time, connecting my experience with holiness and theirs.

One of my favorite pieces to sing was Locus Iste, a text based on Moses’ experience where he is asked to remove his shoes because of the location’s holiness. The text, originally in Latin, reads:

Locus iste a Deo factus est,
inaestimabile sacramentum,
irreprehensibilis est.

This place was made by God,
a priceless sacrament;
it is without reproach.

A favorite verse of scripture echoes the same feeling. Speaking of a sacred spaces, it says:

How beautiful are [they] to the eyes of them who there came to the knowledge of their Redeemer; yea, and how blessed are they, for they shall sing to his praise forever.

Locus Iste reminds of reminds of places where I’ve experienced sacredness and holiness, from churches and cathedrals, to mountaintops and rooftops, to a desk where I used to study scripture as a teenager. My favorite version of the song is by Paul Mealor. When you listen to it (only six minutes), what sacred spaces does it remind you of?

Find the song on Apple Music or Spotify, or go for the entire album at these links if you want more Mealor (and it’s good stuff):

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