Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Trinity Sunday : Part 1

Last Sunday was Pentecost. Perhaps because last year I incorporated a full-size skeleton and a medical dummy torso (in order to help us engage with Ezekiel’s vision of a valley of dry bones restored to life by the Spirit of God), I wasn’t let anywhere near a Pentecost service this year. But I am orchestrating Trinity, this coming Sunday.

My intention is to set up a live tableau version of Rublev’s most famous icon, which depicts Abraham’s three angelic visitors and represents God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit extending the invitation to the person gazing on – or rather, through – the icon. The 'movement' of the icon is from Father to Son to Spirit to onlooker drawn in back through the Spirit to the Son and so to the Father.

On the table is a dish of roast lamb, a shared meal and a symbol of the Lamb who was slain. But I’m thinking of adding other things, first: a board game (I think God likes to have fun); the Sunday newspapers (I think God is interested in what is going on in the world); a TV remote (I think God likes a good story)...

I’ve prepared three 450mm x 640mm panels to be held up behind the tableau, depicting the background (as well as my take on the full icon, on a panel twice as large, as prompt for the story we will tell...).

The Holy Spirit (dressed in blue and green, symbolising life in sea, sky and on land) is associated with a mountain in the wilderness, for the Spirit teaches us to pray. This is an appropriate prompt for prayer.

The Son (in a brown robe symbolising earth and blue cloak symbolising heaven – for the two are united in him – with a gold sash for authority) is associated with a tree, the Tree of Life (the tree of execution transformed into the Tree of Life), symbol of peace. This is an appropriate prompt for asking ourselves whether we know peace – with God, with ourselves, with others, in our circumstances – and to pray for those known to us who do not experience peace.

The Father (in shimmering ethereal robes, for no one has seen the Father) is associated with his house. The door is always open, and on the roof there is an upper room with an open window, from where the Father looks out to see the prodigal returning home. This is an appropriate prompt for asking ourselves whether we know that we are welcome in our Father’s home, and to pray for those known to us who have wandered far from home.

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