“Sleeper, awake! Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”

Christ is our light.

For once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light.
Live as children of light, for the fruit of the light
is found in all that is good and right and true.
Ephesians 5:8-9

Interior view. Christ the Light Cathedral. Oakland, CA

Interior view of Christ the Light Cathedral in Oakland, CA

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When Christ was transfigured, appearing in radiant glory with Moses and Elijah, the disciples wanted to build booths for them. When we build churches today, such as the strikingly transcendent interior of the Cathedral of Christ the Light, are we trying to “build a booth” to contain God? Or are we transformed ourselves when worshiping in a church of great beauty?

The Cathedral, located on the shores of Lake Merritt in Oakland, is designed with the symbolic representation of Jesus Christ at its core. The 58-foot high image within the Omega window (pictured here) is created by natural light passing through aluminum panels that have been pierced with 94,000 holes. This image is a depiction of Christ in Majesty, borrowed from the sculpture of Christ in the central doorway of the west entrance to Chartres Cathedral in France. The use of natural light in the Oakland Cathedral symbolizes the movement of salvation history, climaxing with the tangible, powerful, presence of Christ.[1] As the sun moves across the sky, the movement of light transforms the worship space.

The intentional design of this sanctuary, active in its beauty and its theological meaning, reveals the reciprocal exchange of love between God and humanity. As humans, we offer our humble devotion, and God’s presence is strongly felt. In a place of such beauty, natural and human-made, there are possibilities of transformation — transformation and devotion are brought to life in an exchange of heavenly and earthly love.

[1] Adult Formation Committee, Cathedral of Christ the Light.

Source: Art in the Christian Tradition (Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Be well. Do good. Pay attention. Keep learning.

Image: Library of Congress

Collect: The Annunciation (Mar 25)

Behold the Lord’s Servant.

The Annunciation by Rossetti

Ecce Ancilla Domini! (Behold the Lord’s Servant)
Painting, 1849-1850
Rossetti, Dante Gabriel, 1828-1882

Pour your grace into our hearts, O Lord, that we who have known the incarnation of your Son Jesus Christ, announced by an angel to the Virgin Mary, may by his cross and passion be brought to the glory of his resurrection; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

The Book of Common Prayer, 240

As this Collect makes clear: it’s all connected. In the life of Jesus—and ours—their is birth, the cross and passion, death, and “the glory of … resurrection.” Let us live life fully. ~Fr. Dan

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The Annunciation (pp. 188 and 240)

In the Gregorian sacramentary this collect is used as a postcommunion prayer for the feast of the Annunciation [….] Cranmer translated it:

We beseech thee, Lord, pour thy grace into our hearts; that, as we have known Christ thy Son’s incarnation by the message of an angel; so by his cross and passion we may be brought into the glory of his resurrection; Through the same Christ our Lord

Both the 1662 revision and this [1979] Book made changes for the sake of clarification, though the substance of the original remains. In an admirable way the collect links the Annunciation and the Incarnation with the themes associated with the time of the year [Lent] in which the feast occurs.

Marion J. Hatchett, Commentary on the American Prayer Book, (New York: The Seabury Press, 1981), p. 200

Be well. Do good. Pay attention. Keep learning.

Image: Art in the Christian Tradition (Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

 

Water of Life | Art for Lent 3A

A visual exploration of John 4:14

“Jesus said, ‘ the water that I shall give will be an inner spring always welling up for eternal life” John 4:14

Christ and the Samaritan Woman

Broadbent, Stephen, 1961-
The Water of Life
Sculpture, freestanding, metal
Chester Cathedral
Chester GB
Click image for more information.

Detail Views

 

A short introduction to John 4:5-42, the Gospel Lesson appointed for Lent 3A in the Revised Common Lectionary:

Our gospel tells the story of Jesus’ meeting with the Samaritan woman by Jacob’s well. The narrative is rich with themes. Jesus is willing to break with custom in order to talk with one who is both a woman and a foreigner. True worship of God is tied to no particular place. He himself offers living water which wells up to eternal life. The woman learns that Jesus is the expected Messiah, and later others from the town come to believe that he is the world’s Savior. During an interval in the story, Jesus speaks with his disciples concerning his true food and drink, and tells them that the time of harvesting for eternal life is at hand. Introducing the Lessons of the Church Year

Please follow the Case Study link (below) to learn more about this sculpture in the Garden of the Chester Cathedral. ~Fr. Dan

Be well. Do good. Pay attention. Keep learning.

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How would you portray the face of Jesus?

Once again we find the intersection of art and faith to be both interesting and challenging. Watch this short video of one priest’s quest over the years to seek the face of Jesus:

The video is part of a story on Religion News Service: The Many Faces of Jesus. What do you think?

The Last Supper by Giorgio Vasari

A 50 year work of love to restore art for generations to come,.

The Last Supper. Giorgio Vasari

This originally appeared in the March/April edition of Biblical Archeology Review, p. 12

Begin quoteAfter 50 years, The Last Supper is back on display at the Santa Croce Basilica in Florence.

In 1966, a massive flood filled Florence with water, mud, sewage and debris. The flood wreaked havoc on many of the city’s structures and works of art, including The Last Supper by the Italian Renaissance artist Giorgio Vasari. Measuring 21 by 8 feet, The Last Supper is composed of five panels and dates to 1546. It portrays Jesus’ final Passover meal with his disciples before his arrest and crucifixion. During the flood, the painting—then displayed at the Santa Croce Basilica— was covered with water and mud for more than 12 hours.

When rescuers were finally able to reach the painting, they did their best to stabilize and preserve it, but the damage had already been done. Without the proper technology to restore the painting at that time, they packed up its panels and put them in storage. The painting waited there for 44 years until finally the Opificio delle Pietre Dure (Workshop of Semi-precious Stones), a conservation laboratory in Florence, undertook the feat of restoring it in 2010. The cracked, broken and damaged painting was slowly returned to its original state with the help of a three-year grant from the Getty Foundation as well as with the aid of Prada and the Protezione Civile (Italy’s Department of Civil Protection).

After several years, their work is complete, and The Last Supper can be seen once again at Santa Croce Basilica. Further, to prevent damage from future flooding, a new safety system has been put in place. If the structure should flood again, two winches will lift the painting above the flood line. The system is activated by pushing a button and requires no electricity, so the painting will be secure even if there is a power outage.

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Be well. Do good. Pay attention. Keep Learning.

Christ in the Desert

Wilderness. Temptations. Angels.

Christ in the desert by Ivan Kramskoi

Here is a link to our post of Christ in the Desert (Kramkoi) from March 3, 2014 (Lent 1A). The post features commentary by our Forum Member, Hovak Najarian.

 

First Sunday in Lent

Exploring our faith through the arts.

Christ in the desert by Ivan Kramskoi

Every year Loyola Press on the web offers Arts & Faith, “celebrating your creative expressions of faith.” Arts & Faith: Lent is among the offerings. Here is the introduction to the Year A presentations of Arts & Faith: Lent…

Enter into a visual prayer experience this Lent with Arts & Faith: Lent. Each week we’ll provide a video commentary about a work of art inspired by the Sunday Scriptures. Use these videos to take a new look at this season of spiritual renewal through the lens of sacred art.

daniella-zsupan-jerome

Commentary is by Daniella Zsupan-Jerome, assistant professor of liturgy, catechesis, and evangelization at Loyola University New Orleans. She holds a bachelor’s degree in theology from the University of Notre Dame, a master’s degree in liturgy from St. John’s University in Collegeville, a master’s degree in religion and the arts from Yale Divinity School, and a Ph.D. in theology and education from Boston College. Her unique background in faith and art brings to life a new way of observing Lent and understanding the season on a more personal level.

Christ in the desert by Ivan Kramkoi is the meditation for the First Sunday in Lent. I encourage you to use this internet resource during your Lenten Journey in 2017. ~Fr. Dan

Read the transcript of this video on Loyola Press.

Be well. Do good. Pay attention. Keep learning.

Image: Pinterst Page for the art of Ivan Kramkoi