Stained Glass
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Art Doesn’t Have to be Ambiguous

Sitting at Mass, I’ll look up at the sunlight coming through the stained glass windows, a mix of colorful hues, and think “Oh, I have so many questions!” If you’ve ever seen abstract stained glass, you know what I’m talking about. It’s a hodgepodge of unidentifiable shapes and figures. You can make out animals (I am very convinced one of them is a unicorn), and use your imagination to identify people. Is that the woman at the well or are those vats of wine at the wedding at Cana? Your guess is as good as mine.

David Clayton via Beauty of Catholicism discusses how art shouldn’t be obscure. Rather than having hidden meaning:

Liturgical art is supposed to clarify, not mystify.

He suggests adding script to the image, making biblical references, or providing an explanation if one is needed. We should be able to use works of art within our parish to teach others about the Catholic faith.

Would you be able to take someone on a tour of your parish’s liturgical art?

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