Episode Five in our Trinitytide series was uploaded to our YouTube and Podbean channels earlier this morning. The focus of Episode Five is the Collects, Epistle and Gospel readings for Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh Sunday after Trinity. There are three more readings from the epistles of St. Paul and the final two of the eleven traditional hymns to the Holy Trinity in The St. Chrysostom Hymnal and not in the venerable 1940 Hymnal. There are three more accounts from the Gospel of St. Luke. I’ve included 12 examples of historic art, 1 from the 11th C.; 1 from the 14th C.; 2 from the 15th C.; 1 from the 17th C.; 2 from the 18th C., and, four from the 19th C. The art comes from both the Western Church and the Eastern Church traditions, including icons, statuary, watercolors, oils on canvas (a Western Church innovation), illuminations on Scripture, and one fresco (by Giotto).
The oldest illustration, shown nearby, is an illumination in tempera and gilt on parchment of Jesus’ vision of the destruction of Jerusalem from the Gospels of Otto III, with art in the Byzantine-style produced at the Benedictine Monastery on Reichenau island in Lake Constance in southern Germany. The account is unique to the Gospel of St. Luke. Holy Roman Emperor Otto III, an Ottoman inheritor of the mantle of the Holy Roman Empire following from the revival of it in Western Europe by Charlesmagne, was also responsible for commissioning the Bamberg Apocalypse, from which I used 51 illuminations through the cooperation of the Bamberg State Library, Bamberg, Germany. Otto’s mother was a princess of the Byzantine Empire. He brought artists from Constantinople to Germany to teach Eastern Church techniques to the local artistic community in the Scriptorium at the monastery on Lake Constance. These are among the many Byzantine-style works of Church art from before the catastrophic rift between Rome and Constantinople, most of them before the emergence of uniquely Western art during the Renaissance and later.
I’ve been trying out some changes to the model for these Seasonal Videos. Since the intent of these videos and related podcast is to help Christians understand and better appreciate the historic traditions of Christianity, I’ve put more focus on explaining the evolution of the Prayer Book Collects and the Scripture readings derived from them. These modification are not isolated to just the Collects but also extend to the commentaries on the Epistle and Gospel readings. The breadth of the artistic content has also been improved, with a broader selection of Church art, many of which, except for scholars both of the Church and of the art world, are not commonly seen in Western Church teaching. These are included not just for the sake of breadth but also as teaching tools. The art works are chosen not just for availability (some public domain and some purchased from several vendors), but also for the subject matter and, whenever relevant, how the artist conveyed the theological meaning of the events displayed.
The script and slides for Episode Six, focused on the next four Sundays after Trinity (12th through 15th) is complete and ready for recording of the soundtrack and putting together the video sequences, coordinating the sound with the pictures. Barring technical and other glitches, I expect to have it ready by next Friday. There will be a total of nine episodes in the series, with the final episode covering the extra Sundays needed when Trinity season goes beyond the Twenty-fourth Sunday after Trinity and also the Sunday Next before Advent, which finishes the season. I will also discuss the several alternative readings, most of which are no longer used.
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May the Lord bless you in all that you do in His Name. Glory be to God for all things! Amen.