Lent: The Arts and the Life of Faith
Sunday mornings in March, 2019
Our Lenten journey affirms that there is brokenness and beauty in all humanity and creation. We invite you to connect more deeply to this reality through intentional practice. In this four-week course we will venture deeper into the Lenten story: the Passion Narrative – the portions of the gospels that relate Jesus’ arrest, trials and death – for the meaning it brings to our life of faith. We will immerse ourselves in a variety of media including scripture, visual arts, music, poetry, and film, and we will explore practices that open us to transformation.
Broken is beautiful
One pathway for reflection is the ancient art of kintsugi, repairing broken vessels with gold, transforming them into more beautiful works of art.
Each week, our Liturgical Arts group will be engaging in kintsugi. You might join them at 7pm on Tuesdays – or you might take the journey in your imagination as you view their work in our sanctuary each week.
Another way you might connect to the transformation process is to carry with you a broken shard of pottery as a talisman each day. Consider the lessons and silver linings that might be emerging around the jagged edges. Imagine these broken shards of experience being pieced together to form a new vessel painted in light where the cracks are.
Or make a covenant with beauty this Lent. Make time to be with it, reflect on it, understand it, and participate in beauty. To that end we offer you the following online resources that combine art, film, and poetry that relate to the scriptures of Lent and the journey of Jesus on the cross. Consider how the beauty in art invites us into new ways to…
Be, See, Know and Do.
Spend a few moments with a different work of art for every day of Lent through Easter with a brief narrated audio meditation on each image: http://faith.nd.edu/s/1210/faith/interior.aspx?pgid=39423&gid=609&cid=77026
Set aside a few hours to seek out and view one of these films to foster reflection and spiritual growth: https://www.ncronline.org/news/media/movies-foster-reflection-spiritual-growth-lents-journey
Explore Image Journal’s collection of contemporary essays, poetry, short stories, and visual art for the liturgical seasons of Lent and Easter: https://imagejournal.org/lent/
Join other NDPC friends in creating art for worship and for expression around social justice issues at Liturgical Arts/Craftivists Group on Tuesday nights 7-9pm.
The Passion Narrative
In our first class we touched on some of the feelings, ideas, and themes that Lent evokes in us — as individuals and as a faith community. Among them is passion, a word containing a wealth of meaning. Passion is intensity, excitement, ardor. It can also mean wildness — an attribute of God’s Spirit. Passion derives from the Latin word passio, which at its deepest level means suffering. During Lent we come face-to-face with the suffering Jesus endured as we witness the events of the final week of his life. The account of these events in the Bible is known as The Passion (also called the Passion Narrative). All four gospels contain a version of it:
Matthew 21.1 – 27.66
Mark 14.2 – 15.47
Luke 22.1 – 23.56
Jn 13.1 – 19.22
You can read them side-by-side here: Parallel Gospels
Suggested by Katie Archibald-Woodward
There are a myriad of ways to create a mandala, this is one. Take a deep breath, roll your shoulders, try to relax. Draw a circle on your paper by tracing a plate. Then, using a pen or pencil select a spot on the circle to begin a line within the circle. Let your hand flow as your thoughts flow–soft, swirly, harsh, stiff, jagged or paused may be the stroke. Let it go as it will and observe how the stroke coincides with thoughts that come. Perhaps it is trying to tell you something, perhaps revealing how you are feeling inside. Once you feel at a stopping point color in the sections created by your lines. See what emerges as you just let yourself color. You may want to keep your journal nearby in case any insights arise you wish to make note of. Perhaps all you hear is silence, fully immersed in the coloring, perhaps that is what you need.
Note: If there is something in particular you would like to hold as your prayer or intention during this activity you may name that within yourself and/or write it in your journal/on your mandala
paper as you begin.
- Draw a Venn diagram.
- Pick a color and in the left side of the diagram let the pen or pencil move freely as think about what is ailing you, difficult, stressful, negative things etc. Observe how you feel and how the movements of your writing utensil are reflecting your thoughts and energy.
- Pick a different color and in the right side do the same as the left and this time focus on what brings you joy, good happening in your life, positives, etc. Observe again what this experience is like.
- Now use both colors to draw in the middle section, one at a time, concentrating on the positives and negatives. Spend time reflecting, drawing, or writing about what comes up for you as you colored in the mandorla (middle) section.