Cleansing Fire

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Is There a Place for Modern Art in Our Churches?

October 14th, 2011, Promulgated by Bernie

by David Clayton, New Liturgical Movement

In a recent address Pope Benedict XVI praised the work of the 20th century artist Marc Chagall. He described him as a great artist whose work drew inspiration from the Bible, here.

At first sight this might seem surprising. In his book, The Spirit of the Liturgy, Benedict talks of the disconnect between the culture of faith and the wider culture which occurred after the Enlightenment. He cites three artistic traditions as authentically liturgical and all were developed prior to the Enlightenment, namely…

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2 Responses to “Is There a Place for Modern Art in Our Churches?”

  1. avatar Hopefull says:

    I am particularly moved by Marc Chagall’s “The Praying Jew” http://www.abcgallery.com/C/chagall/chagall81.html

    although I would not want to see it in a church or in liturgy.

    Nevertheless, I think art, modern or not, can inspire us to lift our hearts to God, differently for each individual. This particular piece by Chagall reminds me of each soul’s personal search for the Face of God, and how God’s givingness transcends any feeble effort we might make.

    There is a picture (somewhere, I’ve lost track) of Pope JP II consecrating the Eucharist, holding the Precious Body in his hands a moment after consecration, and the expression on his face is a knowingness of Whom he holds. I like it better than many pictures of the Eucharist, which one sometimes fears has been done as a stage prop and may not even be consecrated, like in a catalog of monstrances for sale. But when one looks at JP II’s expression we KNOW that he KNOWS Who he is holding. Similarly, the face of the Praying Jew, as art, evokes the sense of seeking and perhaps finding God.

  2. avatar brother of penance says:

    Forgive me for “commenting” off topic.

    Please pray for Catholic Faithful who have been worshipping and serving on Portland Avenue.

    Tomorrow, the 16th of October, Holy Mass will be offered for the very last time in Saint Andrew Catholic Church. Apparently, statues and other items that can be carried away already have been. We will come to a stripped Saint Andrew Church, made ready for the new owners.

    Thank you for your prayers.

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