Tonight, because of our various work and study schedules, Laura and I attended the 5:00 p.m. Spanish Mass. I don't know a lick of Spanish, so we picked up a Spanish/English missal, that had the readings and the service in both languages. The missal was produced, like so much Catholic reading material in this country, by The St. John's Liturgical Press. Yeah, that St. John's. Where I went to college.
But really, that's not such a big deal. There's a ton of stuff produced there, and I run into it all the time. Heck, my Canon Law professor and I had a conversation about the Lit Press, since he regularly published through them. So really, that alone wasn't so cool.
What was really cool was that the cover art was taken from The Saint John's Bible. For those of you who aren't familiar with the The Saint John's Bible, it's "the first handwritten, illuminated Bible commissioned since the printing press was invented." And it's really cool.
Why in the world would a modern monastery want to spend time and money copying the Bible by hand? Because, "in the Middle Ages, monasteries helped preserve knowledge and culture for the sake of the greater community. By commissioning a handwritten Bible, Saint John's revives a tradition and affirms its commitment to the study of scripture, to the book arts and to educational, artistic and spiritual pursuits."
The result has been amazing.
Basically, the coolest Bible in history. And so very very pretty. It's simultaneously art, Scripture, and worship. If you ever get a chance to see it in person, do.
This image is the same one that was on the cover of the missal I had at church tonight (minus the "preview only" part - I couldn't find a clean version of it). It's The Creation. And let me tell you, this digital reproduction doesn't even do justice to the reproduction that was on the cover of the missal, which I'm sure doesn't do justice to the actual illuminated manuscript.
Anyways, it's really awesome. Check it out. Browse the site, see the pictures, take in the beauty and appreciate how art can actually be a form of worship; how creating something beautiful actually connects us with God.
Manatee from Heaven