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The liturgy is the ‘work of the people.” This is the etymology of the word. The liturgy is typically thought of as the organized public worship of a group or religion. The liturgy is centered on theology, it brings the theology of religion to life. Art finds its most beautiful purpose in the midst of the liturgy ordered to the theology of the believer. Over time, the greatest works of art are imbued with the theology of the artist, and oftentimes were even created to be a part of the liturgy.

St. Romano’s Lament of the Mother of God demonstrates…


The Basilica of the Sacred Heart on the campus of the University of Notre Dame allows the visitor to feel immediately upon entering the sacredness of the space. The church is a sacramental church built in the neo-Gothic, or more specifically the collegiate Gothic style. The basilica is built in the form of the Latin cross. When you enter the church, the visual connection between the chapel at the farthest end and the door in the back of the church extends so far it immediately can be recognized as a place for a spiritual path as suggested by Kieckhefer. The…


The Caput Masses is an old tradition, which is supposed to have gained its name from the quote of St. Peter at the Last Supper asking Our Lord to wash is hands and his head as well as his feet, Caput being the Latin for foot. The Masses tend to focus in the defeat of the dragon, symbolizing sin, darkness, and death. Mary, with her yes, in contrast to Eve’s disobedience, tread on the serpent’s head, and it so rightfully depicted in these Cuput Masses as the dragon killer. Ockeghem wrote a newer version of a Caput Mass. His music…


The worship which we render God and the honor we offer to the saints enable one to see past the icon and to persons which they represent. When we truly see the persons whom the images represent, we see them for who they are, leading us to the proper disposition towards the persons. The painting of the Holy Trinity discussed by Verdon in Art and Prayer beautifully displays the way in which an image can become an icon and an aid in our worship. In the Eucharist, Christ comes among us under the appearances of bread and wine. Believers must…


Sainte Chapelle, Ile de la Cite, Paris

Christian worship is so full of deep meaning. The liturgy is clearly playful, as anyone can see in all of the sit-stand that Catholics seem to do during Mass. A closer look at all this movement reveals its true purpose. Christian worship too is full of symbolism, as we see in the saints, the saints we are too become, the bread, food for the body, which becomes the Body of Christ and food for our souls, a beautiful marriage of the two inseparable realms of the human person. Finally, the liturgy is festive, for worship has no other purpose than…


The Word became Flesh and dwelt among us. (John 1:14) Divine Revelation comes in its fullest sense in the Person of Jesus Christ, God Himself made visible, having taken on human nature. Revelation and beauty are extremely interconnected. That sense of wonder which so many of us have been blessed with when encountering a great work of art is essential to understanding the aesthetics of revelation. Beauty demands a response. The beauty of the woman demands the love of the man. When one is drawn into something of real beauty, one cannot leave unchanged. …


I had always dreamed of seeing Maderno’s great sculpture of Saint Cecilia, but I never could have imagined the emotion it created in me when I finally entered the great church of Santa Cecilia in Rome. The gentle martyr is buried in the crypt of the church just below the figure of the saint. The pure white of the marble shown brightly under the light illuminating it. The image of the saint as she was found incorrupt years after death with head slender neck severed begs one to fall to the knees. …

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