Christmas and Easter can easily be considered the most important holidays of the modern Christian calendar, with the latter arguably being at the top of the list. Because of this, a few years ago, I decided that I wanted to find a way to set apart these holidays and the preceding liturgical seasons from the rest of the year for my family.
As I’ve stated on numerous occasions, I love art, and I feel that it can offer natural opportunities for quiet contemplation and meditation. By looking at an object or painting that presents a subject beautifully, we can quiet our minds and truly focus on that subject while also taking in the beauty of the piece of art itself.
As such, I decided to combine my goal of setting apart these holidays with my love of art and began offering art devotions for the two liturgical seasons preceding these important holidays: Advent and Lent.
For Lent, the 40 days leading up to Easter, we focus on the ministry of Jesus here on earth. His life is an enormously common theme in art history, and there are so many rich and beautiful images that offer more ways to contemplate that as well as His example of love. I enjoy discovering how artists have interpreted common themes and portrayed Him, especially during those three years before His death.
You can find Messiah: Lenten Art Devotions Volume III along with the six accompanying carefully-curated, high-quality prints in the shop! The devotions guide can be ordered as a professionally printed book that includes the prints or a PDF you print at home. The book offers an art selection for each week of Lent as well as Bible readings, a hymn, and a poem to go along with each painting. The book includes a resource section at the end for the hymns that contains links to sheet music, instrumental versions, and live recordings. The PDF option includes printable versions of the pieces, and I also offer professional prints on thick cardstock with a smooth finish that is durable and beautiful framed or simply propped up on a table.
As with the Advent Devotions guide, this does differ from the picture study aids in that I have not also included information about the paintings themselves. My vision for adding art into our liturgical traditions was not to include more academic opportunities, but rather more possibilities for contemplation and meditation. I hope you will find them helpful in adding opportunities for contemplation during your season of Lent!