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Bannering the Seasons of the Church

In his Noon Day Eucharist homily today at Washington National Cathedral, Rector Bob+ spoke of how each monthly visitation to serve as the Chaplain for the Day always holds a new surprise for him. 

Today it was a new banner series the WNC commissioned from renowned liturgical artist Nancy Chinn.  Originally painted in acrylic, the banners have been digitally printed four feet by twenty feet and installed for the Centennial year on successive pillars in the nave and transepts.  These banners reflect in fresh imaginings the ancient rhythms of the life of faith.  They lead you on a spiritual pilgrimage, guiding you through the seasons of the Christian year.  The insert I have pasted here hardly does the artwork any justice - for a better look, please check out http://www.nancychinn.com/wnc/all/.


When presented with the theme of the liturgical year by the Cathedral, and the request to design them abstractly, Nancy Chinn began a series of paintings that were based on her understanding of those festivals and seasons.  The cyclical nature of the seasons (Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, Pentecost, Ordinary Time I & II (after Pentecost), and the Reign of Christ.) is depicted through the fundamental image of the circle.  Repeating circular patterns are used in different ways to communicate different themes.  The circle represents the work of the divine.  It connotes birth and completion, the movement of the Spirit, the light of Christ, and the world opening up to the glory of God.  

Like Bob+ said, with surprises like these, there are plenty of reasons to keep returning to the Cathedral.  There also were five familiar faces "grace-ing" the eucharist today.  Afterward, I took a little time in the Cathedral Center for Prayer & Pilgrimage for reading and quiet reflection.  It was nice to drive to and from the Cathedral with the convertible top down, and that the coolness we now enjoy actually necessitated wearing a wind breaker.  A lovely day all around!