Spanish Franciscan Friars established ‘Nossa Senhora do Pilar’ church at Pilar (Goa) in 1613 and ‘Mission Concepción’ at San Antonio (Texas) in 1711. This cross-cultural comparative acoustical study of these churches connects sound decay measures (ISO 3382) with auditory, affective and meta-physical perceptions (complementing ISO/TS 12913-1/2/3). At p≤0.05, ‘Mission Concepcion’ was found more reverberant than ‘Pilar’; ‘sacred music from the choir-loft’ of ‘Mission Concepcion’ was perceived ‘louder’ and ‘clearer’ than from the nave floor; whereas, in ‘Pilar’, ‘sacred music from the nave floor’ was perceived ‘louder’ than from the choir-loft; perception of ‘pleasantness’ and ‘eventfulness’ in both churches showed no significant difference for sacred music from either source; ‘sacred music from the choir-loft’ of ‘Mission Concepcion’ evoked better perception of ‘heightened awareness’, ‘stillness’ and ‘inspiration’; perceived ‘loudness’ of ‘sacred music from the choir loft’ in ‘Pilar’ showed positive correlation with RT60, D50, TS, STI and negative correlation with C80; perception of ‘inspiration’ by ‘sacred music from the choir loft’ in ‘Pilar’ was positively correlating with RT60, TS, STI and negatively correlating with C80 & D50. This study identified character defining acoustical differences between ‘Pilar’ and ‘Mission Concepcion’ which accentuate each of this historic church as a ‘unique living heritage’.

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