At our own cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist there is a statue of Saint John. He holds in his hands a scroll and a pen and he looks off to the side. Painted on the wall where he stares are the visions that he saw and wrote down in the book of Revelation. Again, pretty cool.
Here is pictured the mosaic and the altar of repose (formally the high altar) at Saint Sebastian. It struck me as odd at first until reading about it a little more in depth. It is a picture of the Last Supper. The twelve disciples are gathered and Jesus stands at the back with the chalice in His hand. One might be inclined to think it odd to have a Last Supper portrayal without a table on which the supper is set. But there is one! The artist included the altar of sacrifice as the table around which, not only do the disciples gather but around which we gather. As we are not recreating or enacting a Last Supper but are present at the life death and resurrection of Our Lord – are present at THE Last Supper. This artistic endeavor makes for an outstanding theological statement – all done with symbols and art.
This is what can occur when artists are trained in sacred art, know their theology and life of the Church, when the Church acts as patroness of the arts and refuses simply to buy their “art” out of catalogues.
Need I say it again? Pretty cool.