I’ve read the first 32 pages of Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol. The book states on one of the early pages “All rituals, science, artwork, and monuments in this novel are real.” And yet on page 32 professor Langdon tells a class of Harvard students that he goes “to the Harvard chapel on Sunday, kneel[s] beneath the crucifix, and take[s] Holy Communion.” At Harvard the church building is always referred to as “Memorial Church,” not “the Harvard chapel.” I do not recall seeing a crucifix in that church. Although the church is not affiliated with any denomination as far as I know, its architecture and furnishings are in the tradition of New England Congregationalism, certainly not Roman Catholicism, and not even Episcopalianism. One does not normally see a crucifix in a Congregational church. A crucifix is not a mere cross. A crucifix is a cross to which is affixed a body. I have never been to a Sunday service at that church and so I am no expert on the building or on what they do there. I imagine that more often than not there is no communion at the services. And if there were, I doubt there would be any kneeling to receive communion. And so I entertain doubts as to Brown’s accuracy. But I’m not really familiar enough with Memorial Church and its services to be able to contradict Brown with any authority.
And so I think I’m going to entertain doubts now about anything Brown has to say in the book about rituals, artwork, and monuments.