Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Posts Tagged ‘Devotional Images’

The Stations of the Cross

March 7th, 2015, Promulgated by Bernie

Details from some of the Stations of the Cross at Our Lady of Victory/Saint Joseph Church, Rochester, New York. (Sorry, but I do not know the name of the painter.)

When we walk without the Cross, when we build without the Cross, and when we profess Christ without the Cross, we are not disciples of the Lord. We are worldly, we are bishops, priests, cardinals, Popes, but not disciples of the Lord.” – Pope Francis

(Click on pictures for sharper images)







Mary Shows Us The Way

March 14th, 2013, Promulgated by Bernie

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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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A “Devotional” Image

October 1st, 2010, Promulgated by Bernie

Below is a devotional statue of Saint John Vianney in a church in Dinan, France. A devotional image is different -in my personal view- from a liturgical work of art. Devotional images may be quite realistic in style. They are appropriate to serving the needs of private devotion and, therefore, should not occupy a significant place in the chancel or main nave of a church. Liturgical works, on the other hand, need a more stylized imagery suggestive of a transfigured state that is more appropriate in the public worship space of the church. Something more akin to an icon. Once again, that’s just my opinion.

If I remember correctly, this statue of St. John Vianney stands in front of a pier, in a side aisle between two apsidal chapels.

Statue of St. John Vianney, Dinan, France; photo by Bernard Dick

“Parable of the Great Banquet” – Liturgical Art?

August 24th, 2010, Promulgated by Bernie
(click on picture to see a larger image)

"The Great Banquet" by Cicely Mary Parker, 1935*

Cicely Mary Parker (1895-1973) is best known for her Flower Fairies books but she did paint other subjects, among them an unusual triptych for the Lady Chapel of her parish (Anglican) church of St. George near Croydon, England. “Unusual” because it is not, as far as I know, a subject often chosen by artists or patrons. It is a large painting illustrating a parable that Jesus told at a rather grand supper-party attended by people conscious of social status. The message of the parable is that just as it is easier to love those who love you, it is agreeable to throw a party for your friends who will repay your hospitality. He suggested the next party should be for people who could not repay the host: “the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind… You will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.” (Luke 14:13-14). 

Parker used the townsfolk as her models for the painting. She placed her own mother in the picture and more than likely had the little children she taught in the Sunday school pose for her. Each of the characters illustrated may have had personal stories making them particularly appropriate for inclusion. All the figures look expectantly to Jesus. The gleaming white table cloth spread on a long table is, of course, suggestive of the last supper. In the right panel is shown St. George, after whom the church is named and, in the left panel, St. John the Baptist. 

I have some questions for you to ponder: Is this a liturgical work of art? Could it -should it– hang over the main altar of a church? Why or why not? 

Previous posts here and here related, somewhat, to these questions. 


Book suggestion: 

A Journey into Christian Art, Helen de Borchgrave, (Minneapolis, Fortress Press, 2000). 

*Picture source: Borchgrave, p. 192