Monday, November 26, 2007

Christian Heritage

Chiesa: "How to Paint a Homily, with the Brush of Luke, Evangelist and Painter", by Sandro Magister

A book by Timothy Verdon comments on the readings for the Mass with the masterpieces of Christian art. It is a "preaching through images" that blossomed for centuries in the Church. And the current pontificate wants to revive it. (...)


From the sixth century on, the lectionaries that collected the Gospel and Epistle readings for the Mass did not need any separate commentaries. They were, in themselves, an illustration of the pages of the Sacred Scriptures, a visual guide to understanding them.

These lectionaries explained the Scriptures with images that were placed alongside the texts – for example, the splendid miniatures of the medieval codices. These images served as guides and commentaries for a clergy and a people already accustomed to seeing the events and personalities of the Sacred Scriptures depicted upon the walls of their churches.

And now, just before the first Sunday of Advent, a book has been published in Italy that gives new life to this tradition. It is a commentary on the lectionary of the Sunday and feast day Masses of year A – the volumes for years B and C will follow – made up of images from great Christian art. Images more eloquent than many words.

The author is Timothy Verdon, a priest and art historian, professor at Stanford University and the director of Florence's diocesan office for catechesis through art. He is also the author of important books on Christian art and on the role of art in the Church's life. >>>

The book is planned for translation into other languages: Timothy Verdon, "La bellezza nella parola. L'arte a commento delle letture festive. Anno A", Edizioni San Paolo, Cinisello Balsamo, 2007, pp. 378, EUR 43,00.

English translation by Matthew Sherry, Saint Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.

1 comment:

Lord James-River said...

Certainly brings it home - there is some wonderful church art over our way too.