Art in the Church

Graced With Light installation in Grace Cathedral, San Francisco
Photo by Pamela Reynoso

This is, in my mind, a fantastic example of art in the Church.

This cathedral is alive with art, and it’s not seen in just the permanent fixtures.

I share these photos because I feel they tie in quite well with my essay about artists in the Church. I suggested that churches can support the arts and artists by actually displaying art. When I wrote that essay, I had no idea about this installation at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco.

Discovering Art in the Church

I met for breakfast with some photographers and one of them had plans to stop by the cathedral to photograph it. I jumped at the chance. It seemed a perfect opportunity to see, in person, the very topic I had written about, in a new-to-me location. Just walking into the cathedral filled me with awe. That feeling and sense of reverence were only heightened by the hundreds of colorful ribbons of varying lengths hanging from the ceiling. Beauty just filled the cathedral from the architecture, to the stained glass, to the ribbons that brought the colors and vibrancy of the stained glass into the interior.

The artist, Anne Patterson, and the church community worked together to hang Graced with Light the 20 miles of ribbon that represent prayers ascending and descending. The installation is no longer up. But I am certain that those who saw it were not disappointed.

Below is a photo of the back of the cathedral. It shows the ribbons clearly with the stained glass rose window behind.

Graced With Light Grace Cathedral, San Francisco
Photo by Pamela Reynoso


This essay is from our Anastasis Series where we resurrect articles from the past that are either still relevant today or can be easily updated. This piece was first published on January 29, 2014, and has been lightly edited and updated.

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    • Isn’t this just what you were talking about, Jim? I thought of you as I was photographing the stained glass. : ) It was a fantastic experience.

  • Russ Skains says:

    Creativity comes from God and I think that we should express creative and beautiful art like this to worship Him. It expresses our love for Him!

    • I very much agree, Russ. It’s worshiping the Creator in His own language…that of creative expression. : )

  • Wow. Talk about a sense of threshold.
    Just can’t pull that off architecturally with a butler building that looks like a movie theater on the inside…

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