Saturday, May 17, 2008

Trinity Sunday

Icon with the Trinity (1411) - Andrei Rublev (1360-c.1430)

IN THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY, Andrei Rublev, a saintly painter-monk of the Russian Orthodox Church, depicted (the) heavenly visitors (who appeared to Abraham by the terebinth of Mamre) in an icon referred to as "The Old Testament Trinity." It was judged by the Russian hierarchy to be the most Orthodox representation of the doctrine of the Trinity rising from their religious culture ... The table around which the angels sit is itself a kind of symbolic mountain and the rectangular opening in the icon represents that place where the bones of dead saints are ritually kept, the tomb of the elect beneath the altar of sacrifice.

(A) circle draws us into the icon making us participants in the heavenly repast. We complete that circle by joining in the sacra conversazione. We dance the dance and partake of the feast. The sky in the icon is gold for we are transported outside of time and space into a sacred precinct.

House, tree, mountain, altar, chalice, wings, scepters, purple, green, red, gold ... we are caught up in the iconography devised by a saint to describe an ineffable mystery draped in the theology of color and arranged in a geometry of grace.
-- Fr. Michael Morris, O. P., MAGNIFICAT [May 2008, Vol. 10, No. 3]

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