Sunday, April 03, 2011

Cathedral Art Group Puts "Laetare" Back in the Church.

I went out this Sunday for a "Laetare" experience. With all the debate about the new translation of the Mas text Latin isn't exactly "flavour of the month". In the Liturgical cycle the fourth Sunday of Lent is "Laetare Sunday" a call to 'Rejoice" with the anticipation of Easter. What a relief for those of us anxious about language  to see that rejoice comes across as reasonable translation for 'Laetare" even though it's significance in the Entrance Antiphon  was probably drowned out in most parishes by the Gathering Hymn.

My Laetare experience was a visit to the "Cycle of Life: Earth Gift" exhibition sponsored by the Cathedral of St Stephen Art Group in Brisbane.

My first opportunity to "Rejoice" was that the Cathedral  bulletin for the weekend included the following text:

"The tasks of three particular groups within the Cathedral community are vital in our mission to engage with the broader community. The St Stephen’s Concert Series, COSSAG [Cathedral of St Stephen Art Group] and our Guides and Welcomers play a vital role through art, music and welcome.

COSSAG has grown in its success to provide opportunities for people to engage through the medium of art. Having a Cathedral that has superb religious art, it is good that we broaden what is offered through various displays, talks and art shows."

In the Francis Rush Centre next to the Cathedral I rejoiced to see  photographers, sculptors and painters presenting one of the most inspiring and challenging exhibitions I have seen for a long time.

The exhibition was full of little surprises including notes and reflections from the artists and a lovely commemorative booklet with images and text including quotes from Thomas Berry and Rainer Maria Rilke.

In a lovely reflection on the task of unpacking the exhibition, Margaret Moore  writes:

"May Christians bring an Easter hope to the public conversation. May we look to positive indicators that our youngsters are more aware and committed than we are to this common enterprise, this interdependence/healing of Earth and people. May blessings be on those who offer valued insight through Art.

May blessings be on those who sacrifice themselves for a noble cause, the sustaining of this precious gift - a fertile productive Earth, clean water and fresh air - for our beloved children and grandchildren to enjoy. These audacious prophets are surely our real 21st century saints and heroes"

Thanks to COSSAG for a Laetare Sunday that provided a wonderful preparation for Easter and the promise of life renewed!!
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