Liturgical art is in service to God and the church, and has the
ability to connect us and engage us more deeply in the mystery of
salvation. Liturgical arts is an expression of faith that
inspires faith. There is powerful Biblical precedent for the
use of liturgical art.
In Exodus 25:2a, 3b-8a, 9a, the Lord says to Moses,
Tell the Israelites to take for
me an offering; … gold, silver, and bronze, blue, purple, and
crimson yarns and fine linen, goats' hair, tanned rams' skins, fine
leather, acacia wood, oil for the lamps, spices for the anointing
oil and for the fragrant incense, onyx stones and gems to be set in
the ephod and for the breastpiece. And have them make me a
sanctuary … In accordance with all that I show you concerning the
pattern of the tabernacle and of all its furniture …
This was a lush and colorful sanctuary with elements that appeal
to every sense, and it seems the Lord is interested and involved in
every aspect of its design. Later in Exodus, the Lord
commissions the first group of liturgical artists:
The Lord has called by name Bezalel .. He has filled him with
divine spirit, with skill, intelligence, and knowledge in every
kind of craft, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver,
and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, in
every kind of craft … He has filled them with skill to perform
every kind of work done by an artisan or by a designer or by an
embroiderer in blue, purple, and crimson yarns, and in fine linen,
or by a weaver-by any sort of artisan or skilled designer.
Truly, the Lord creates and inspires people to use their talents
to glorify God. God has not withheld anything in the
extravagance of God's creation. Consider not only the lilies
of the field but also the thousands of varieties and shapes of
flowers that God created. If God is so generous in the beauty
that God gives us, how can we justify not using our every creative
ability to give back in gratitude and worship?
The designs of our Advent banners were used at the 2008 Montreat
Worship & Music Conferences and were the inspiration for the
formation of a Liturgical Arts Guild at Johns Creek Presbyterian
Church. In no sense are these works of "decoration," but
rather works of art meant to underline and augment the church's
liturgical events and in every way to give God alone the glory.
The banners were fashioned based on the text of Isaiah
9:6: For a child will be born to us, a son will be given
to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name
will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father,
Prince of Peace. The inspiration for the angels was
centuries old tapestry done by Hildegard of Bingen. The
commissioned piece in the front window, Mary holding Jesus under
the stars in the night sky of Bethlehem, was designed especially
for our 2010 Christmas Eve services.
Many thanks to those who helped form the Liturgical Arts Guild,
sharing their creative gifts to enhance our worship of God.
If you have been gifted by God and would like to be a part of
this exciting new ministry, or if you would simply like to learn
more about liturgical arts and their place in worship, please
Margie Belden: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nancy Hyde: email@example.com.