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Liturgical Art

"The term liturgy is derived from the composite Greek word λειτουργία, meaning a public duty or a work undertaken by a citizen for the state. Today the term liturgy is applied to the public worship of the Church and is generally distinguished from private devotion, which occurs outside of the official community worship. Liturgical art ... has little or nothing to do with beauty. It is not decoration. Liturgical art is a visual aid for worship designed, one hopes, to be an integral part of liturgy. Liturgical art at its most edifying expresses the historic church, her traditions, theology and Scripture. It is not in the category of personal work that seeks to express an individual artist and that artist's point of view. At its ideal, liturgical art is made and used within an atmosphere of prayer, ushering the people of God, and the artist included, into an authentic experience of worship." (

"The artistic value of a piece of art within the context of worship becomes precisely its value as an aid to worship. The extent to which it aids worship - not drawing attention to itself but instead directing us to the holy - is its primary artistic value in that context." (Bruce Benson, Liturgy as a Way of Life.)


It is a privilege to participate in making art and/or music that can be used within the church or used by individuals of the same worshipping body in order to bring unity and focus - participating in "an action by which a group of people become something corporately which they had not been as a mere collection of individuals - a whole greater than the sum of its parts." (Alexander Schmemann, For the Life of the World.)

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