Testing the fruits: Aesthetics as applied to liturgical media art
The increasing use of media in Catholic and Protestant churches in the U.S. and elsewhere is a new phenomenon in liturgical history. Church media ministers (volunteer and on-staff) currently are creating media art from photographic, graphic, electronic, and digital media materials and technologies. Reworking the materials of everyday popular media culture, they are creating a new liturgical art form and a new liturgical ministry. When creatively, imaginatively, and appropriately designed to serve a community's liturgical actions, this social practice results in liturgical media art. Testing The Fruits: Aesthetics as Applied to Liturgical Media Art provides a new starting point for evaluating this emerging art form. Liturgist and media producer Eileen Crowley-Horak offers a new working vocabulary and a critical aesthetic framework with which church leaders, media artists, and worshipers together can taste and test the fruits of this artistic harvest. As background, this study presents a history of how communications media art entered Christian worship in the 20th century, how it currently functions in diverse Catholic and Protestant worship settings, and how worshipers and leaders in two U.S. churches describe their experience of its creation and reception. The author develops aesthetic criteria for this art and applies them to one church's artistic labors. Liturgical media art understood as being created by, for, and with the entire assembly holds the greatest promise for the greatest number of churches. The more people involved, the richer is the bounty. The more local the creation, the greater the spiritual fruits: people connecting their everyday lives with their liturgy. This collaborative, inclusive, inter-generational creative process results in a unique liturgical art that offers new opportunities for worship in the 21st century. Like liturgy, this liturgical art is ideally the work of the people.
0323: American studies
0708: Mass media