June 10, 2021

Art in the Church

Pamela Reynoso

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

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

This cathedral is alive with art, and it’s not seen in just the permanent fixtures. I wanted to share these photos because I felt they tied 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. At the time I wrote that essay, I had no idea about this installation at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco.

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 as it seemed a perfect opportunity to see the very topic I had written about in person, in a new-to-me location. Just walking into the cathedral filled me with awe and that feeling and sense of reverence were only heightened by the hundreds of colorful ribbons of varying lengths hanging from the ceiling that you see at the top of this photo. 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 to the interior in a unifying way.

The artist, Anne Patterson, and the church community worked together to hang “Graced with Light” the 20 miles worth of ribbon that represents prayers going up and grace coming down. More information on the artist and show can be found on the Grace Cathedral site. The installation is no longer up. But, I am certain that those who saw it were not disappointed.

Here is a photo of the back of the cathedral which shows the ribbons well 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.

Pamela Reynoso


Pamela is a big city loving fine art photographer who enjoys various genres of photography, especially macro work. She lives in Cleveland, TN with her high school sweetheart and husband, Rondall, and their five children. She can usually be bribed with homemade peanut butter cookies.

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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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