"The works of art inspired by Scripture
remain a reflection of the unfathomable mystery
which engulfs and inhabits the world."
- Pope St. John Paul II: Letter to Artist (1999)
From the earliest beginnings of Christianity, the truths of the Faith were expressed in forms of art. For the Christian who knew not how to read or write, the Church provided the lessons of the scriptures through its architecture such as in sculptures, paintings, ornamention, decoration, and statues. Where words seemed to be limited, art could express those truths which seemed too sublime for words by providing a means of contemplation through imagery.
At a time when all forms of arts are veiled, our souls long for that reminder of the God Who is Creator and Beauty, Goodness, and Truth Himself. Holy Mother Church hears this longing and, while She says it is necessary that these reminders of our Lord be hidden from us, She also knows that the soul profits from that expression of hidden realities. It is here that the Church gives us the artwork of Holy Week. For larger feasts, the missal normally displays a beautiful piece of line art that captures the mysteries of the day. However, for Holy Week, a piece of artwork is provided for each day that expresses the important texts, images, and smybols taken from the Mass's propers. These works are in of themselves a source of meditation.
While many different missals contain a variety of line art, provided below are images which are found in the 1962 Roman Missal either Angelus or Baronius Press. We invite you to spend some time in prayer with each one comparing it to the day's readings. May the Holy Spirit bring you to a deeper understanding of the mysteries this Holy Week contains and draw you in to Christ's Passion, Death, and Resurrection.