Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Religious Art in the Home: We Like It

As far as I know, there's no rule that says a practicing Catholic has to have a crucifix on the wall, or some sort of religious art on display. I think it's a good idea, though.

Besides, I like to display things that matter to me. Up in the attic, where I do most of my reading and offline research, I've got an M. C. Escher poster, a few maps, and assorted pictures on the walls. Also a little Holy Family desktop sculpture.

Next to the front door of my house, there's a sort of crucifix on the inside wall. My father-in-law carved it, several years ago. It's a little different: a representation of my Lord's face in profile is at the meeting of a cross's upright and bar.

By the front door: a sort of crucifix.

I like it. And it's one of the many reminders in the house of our faith.

The east wall of the kitchen has a few 'religious' pictures, including one of Jesus in Gethsemane. My wife's family had a picture of the Last Supper in the kitchen - a sort of tradition. We wound up putting a copy of The Last Supper in the north room.

The east wall of the kitchen. The framed words are a Norwegian meal blessing.

That Norwegian prayer to be said at meals is from my heritage. My mother is Norwegian, and taught me 'grace' in that language. A decade or so back, I saw a copy of the prayer in a religious book & gift shop in Alexandria and put it on the wall.

The wall sculpture in the upper right of the picture is a stylized Madonna and Child that my father-in-law carved. I think quite a few of his kids have one of those.

In the north room: a picture of the Last Supper, next to family photos.

This household's Last Supper picture is, of all places, in the north room: where we don't eat. Oh, well: it loses some of its symbolic significance here, but I see it every time I get up from my desk. Or do, if I remember to look to my right as I walk toward the kitchen.

So, why do I think having that stuff on the walls is a good idea? The pictures and carvings are reminders of what I believe. When I see one, it may encourage me to think about some aspect of my Lord, His life and teachings.

Some also have a certain amount of 'warm fuzzy' appeal. Which is okay.

I don't think that everybody should have things like that on their walls. Like I said, as far as I know there's no rule that says Catholics have to have any sort of art on display.

But it's something my family and I do.

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Brian, aka Aluwir, aka Norski said...

Well, that's interesting.

I've gotten spam in Chinese, but what I just deleted was in Turkish.

Left by someone with a protected-profile Blogger account, it started with (in translation) "part of vendor credit...."

Folks, I don't mind comments - that have something to do with the post - and are in a language you can be sure everybody else here understands. Which, in the case of this blog, is English.

Left-Footer said...

You understnd Turkish? Hat tip to you!

I share your liking for religious art, though I guess your taste is better thatn mine - here in Poland, pilgrimages are very popular, and so are cheap souvenirs of them, which I unashamedly collect.

My pride and joy, though not really objets d'art, are a luminous Crucifix and a Holy Water squirter, which bought as a child at Buckfast Abbey, UK.

No it's not kitsch.

I differ from you, only in that I think all Catholics should proudly display the badges of their Faith.

Brian, aka Aluwir, aka Norski said...


If I were to do this post over, I'd re-write that last paragraph: particularly "I don't think that everybody should have things...." I think Catholics should display tokens of our faith. I was trying to avoid sounding like folks who are convinced that if they do something - everybody ought to do so, too.

About Turkish? I don't understand that language - but I've got access to some decent translation software. Wonderful stuff, software.

As for your luminous Crucifix & Holy Water squirter: We've a few items like that, too: including a glow-in-the-dark Rosary.

Which is handy when it comes to nighttime prayers.

Brigid said...

I think a squirt bottle for holy water is a cool idea. If I ever find myself in some haunted catacombs again (which I sincerely hope I don't) I'd want something like that along.

Left-Footer said...

Brigid, there's clearly a story here: "haunted catacombs again..."

Please tell it!

Brian, aka Aluwir, aka Norski said...

Brigid, Left-Footer,

I know what Brigid is referring to - and yes, it's a rather interesting traveler's tale.

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