Friday, June 02, 2006

It's All About Beauty
It's cool when people get involved on a liturgy committee and then get surprised. Mrs Darwin reports: It looks like my role will be to fight for beauty as well as truth. Father pulled over the whiteboard and started making an outline. "There are three aspects of preparing a church for the liturgy," he said, and began to tick them off. A. Environment Natch. B. Music" Yes, but are any musicians there? Ah, I thought, the next one is Art. I would've put my plug in for homilies. "C. Banners" Oh, please, not that. Let me reassure Mrs Darwin a bit: no self-respecting modern liturgist deals in "banners" anymore. The last time I did was in Illinois where I had a parishioner who produced paper sculpture for huge swaths of cloth hung in the church. They attached nothing permanent to their cloth in that parish, but they produced some artful additions which were clipped or pinned to fabric. I googled for church banners, and all I found were these by Kiwi Anglicans. Take out the words of this one over here on the right, and it'd be pretty decent. Even pro-lifers use banners, so don't tell me this is some kooky liberal thing left over from the 60's. (At least the Valpo kids weren't "drunk on the Spirit.") One commenter adds: Or the pastor could stick a crowbar in the parish budget and search a reputable catalog for a set of banners professionally created (therefore, hopefully, appropriate for a Catholic house of worship), and of sufficient variety for the occasions of the liturgical year. Crowbar, yes. But why go to a catalog when an artist can be commissioned to produce something? The same people who seem to always complain about music publishing monopolies are willing to sign over a crowbarred budget to the people who give you cute paintings of angels and Jesus and the like. Art in church is not about catalog kitsch. Getting back to liturgy committees ... You can also take time to study documents such as this one with your pastor.

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