It’s interesting that the church seems more habitable when it is empty. The narrator describes rooms by imaging them in great detail when they are empty. He “sees” them when he is no longer physically in them. They have been internalized in his mind. I suppose when we remember rooms we don’t usually see ourselves in them—we’re behind the camera of our own mind’s eye.
The church passage: seemed to highlight the expansive nature of the narrator’s internal imagination. “their silvery antiquity sparkling with the dust of centuries”
I liked the references to cards and the game of patience (“planned to beguile Charles VI) in connection with his description of the church windows . (cards=vice vs. being in Church). This caused me to spend too much time on the internets reading about poor mad King Charles VI, who had cards made for him. (but NOT tarot cards as some suggest, but regular playing cards, just as Proust implies). I guess I’m mildly interested in the history of playing cards. (it’s quite complicated).
The church section was also a meditation on history and the way time and people “weigh down” the architecture –how they leave their trace on the building.