Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Colors of Lent

Ever since we have renovated our chapel, I have been much more aware of how artists and architects work with colors.

A type of purple -- more maroon-- was chosen for the ceilings under the balcony on the 2nd floor and likewise for the ceiling under the balcony on the 1st floor. In addition to that, all the upholstering on the chairs in our chapel is this maroon purple.

When we arrive at the season of Lent, our chapel is pretty much set for the season. All it needs is a little fine tunning. Br. Jerome always surprises me with what he does with the environment of our chapel.
And this year, the environment touches me even more since some of the dried flowers and branches used come from the garden and the grounds of Mt. Michael.

To enhance the already present maroon color, Br. Jerome uses a bit of celosia from our garden that I have dried. He also cleverly uses branches that are barren but do have some color--red dogwood branches. And then this year, I collected some milkweed pods for him to use. It all provides for a very interesting conglomeration. Below is the arrangement that has been before the altar for most of our Lenten season, with the exception of Solemnities and Feast Days. From my point of view in the monastic choir, I can examine this arrangement very closely, for I am directly in front of it. For me it is a very interesting detail about color. Since I grow celosia, I know how vivid it really is while it is still growing. However, when it is dried the colors are very much subdued. It occurred to me that perhaps that is a bit of what the Season of Lent is about-- a period of subduedness, awaiting the burst of spring and vivid colors.

Below is a photo of celeosia while it was still growing in the garden. This photo was taken on the Fall Festival Day a few years ago. Celosia is really at it best in the Fall of the year. It is a very showy flower.

And still a few more photos are examples of celosia drying in the barn.

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