I’ve been a little distracted this week (recovering from vacation, as well as planning a birthday party for this weekend) so I was having a hard time thinking of 3 Reasons. Something always ends up coming to me though, thank goodness. This month I’m focusing on the artwork of the Church.
Did you know that icons are a highly stylized form of artwork? Did you know that each central character is depicted with certain distinctive features throughout iconography, so that you can always recognize them? For example, St. Peter is always shown with white hair and a beard. I certainly didn’t know much about icons until I found a copy of this book at a Catholic homeschool conference.
We are reading through it slowly as a part of our art curriculum this year.
According to Pictures of God, the type of icon we received as a wedding gift is called a “Sweet Kissing” icon, because of how Mary is showing her affection for Jesus. Isn’t it gorgeous?
I distinctly remember being a bit embarrassed when we got this gift, because I was just a bit overwhelmed at the idea of appearing so very Catholic to my friends. Isn’t it funny what 11 years will do?
I’m not the only Catholic child that grew up gazing at stained glass windows, and I can attest that my kids carry on the tradition. Actually, it’s sometimes the only thing that will capture my kids’ attention when they are headed south on the Mass Meltdown Crazy Train.
I don’t think I need to go too deeply here, I just want to note that the light coming through the glass is not accidental. It represents God’s love shining through us to create beauty to all who see us. A stained glass window in the dark isn’t necessarily sad… it’s just a shadow of its full capabilities. Sound familiar?
The Very First Picture Bibles
Do you know what I find amazing about Catholic churches? In most that hold even a semblance of traditionalism, you could spend hours learning about scripture and the lives of the saints just by looking around at the artwork. The icons, the stained glass, the stations of the cross… all of these were made accessible to the illiterate masses long before the printing press. Churches: the very first picture bibles. Cool, huh?
A prime example of this beauty can be found in church of Our Lady of Loreto in Cold Spring, NY. We had the good fortune to attend mass their last weekend and I couldn’t keep my eyes off the details. I didn’t get a chance to go back and take photos, much to my regret. Click here to see what I’m talking about. Seriously, you won’t regret it.
Now it’s your turn! Tell me what you love about Catholicism, either in the comments boxes or in a blog post you link below.