After a long summer of freedom, "Back to School" signs smothered shop windows, sending a small shiver down my spine. September daylight glanced crisply across the horizon. New school mackintoshes, dangled sleeves with room to "grow", and colder days were on their way,
The busyness of the school year led us seamlessly into the season of Advent, marked by Carols sung at morning assemblies.
My convent school, ( since demolished - oh does admitting that make one feel old!) was a modern building. The chapel, sandwiched between school and convent, was quite devoid of ornament. A lone painted crucifix suspended over the altar, marked the separation of school and convent life.
The sisters were good women, who took good care of us girls. They instructed us dutifully in the receipt of holy communion in the hand. They strummed Guitars as a pupil or two fought for the chance to rattle a tambourine during services.
Innocently, I reasoned that the poor sisters could not afford a church organ. The high unemployment and power cuts of the 70's were all part of a society that couldn't afford "better stuff".
My working class family were used to "putting up" with temporary cheaper alternatives until Dad found work; we all hoped for better days when all would return to normal.
Now when my own children started school, I realised that the modern art I had once thought was cheap rubbish, was actually expensive rubbish. The guitars and tambourines had been an "alternative choice" rather than a prudent one, Thusly, a mini reformation took place in my lifetime.
Even though the church has changed a lot since I was at school, the Christmas Nativity scene is a staple of the Church's year. People on the edges of the faith, will draw near to the church at Christmas time.
If the building block of society is the family, we need to draw it closer to the Holy family of the crib. its a reason to keep the statues looking as good as the virtues they teach.
Link: Why good Catholic art is a gift for our children.
Liturgical artist/restorer. Bachelor of Art and Design, Catholic Blogger
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