Leading with Beauty

Art for November Prayer Tables

This month’s topic is a new lesson on the Creed and since I haven’t been able to find any art on that exact topic, we’re going to expand it just a little with a piece that focuses on the Holy Trinity.  Both of the creeds we typically use (Nicene and Apostles’) are intensely structured around the three Persons of the Holy Trinity, each devoting a section to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, in that order.

This work by Albrecht Durer was completed in 1511 as an altarpiece for a church.  (How great would it be to contemplate this every time you went to Mass!)  The Persons of the Trinity are the focus, framed by clouds and angels.  On the left are the heavenly martyrs led by the Queen of heaven, herself.  On the right are Old Testament Saints, led by John the Baptist.  Spanning the painting, but still above the clouds, are all the rest of us: priests, nuns, lay people, etc., and at the very bottom we see the artist still on earth.

It’s very easy to look at this painting, with it’s clear vision of heavenly realities and recite, “I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible.”  “I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God …”  “I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life …”

If you want a reminder of what this Leading with Beauty thing is all about, click over here for an explanation.

And Church of Saint Paul catechists: the offer still stands – if you want to use my prayer table art suggestions as a teaching piece during your classroom prayer time, I’ll be glad to print a copy for you IF you email me ahead of time with the request.  (If you ask at the last minute though, it’s not likely to be possible.  I hope that doesn’t sound grumpy!)

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