Eastertide Art

our 2024 Paschal candle, by Cristy Marchis

“The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.” (Genesis 1:2)

Water is the substance of life. Rivers of life have been flowing across our planet and through our bodies since the spirit of God began the work of creation. Water connects us to the past and carries us into the future, as does the work of Christ.

The cross and resurrection, which happened in one time and in one place, vibrate back to the moment the Word spoke creation into being and forward to the end of the age, cascading redemption and healing to all times and all places.

Even though the wax on the Paschal candle—once hot and flowing—is now cooled and still, it is my hope that when you see it, you can vividly imagine the waves of Living Water coursing in your veins that the eternal saving work of Christ on the Cross has generated within you . . . and which overflow to others through all of us.

the flowering crown of thorns, by Marcus Schwarting

Origami is an art form based on the principles of pure mathematics. Practicing origami requires precision and deep focus. The 13th century French Bible Moralisé depicts God as the Supreme Geometer. Similarly, I like to envision God as a master origamist: starting from formless potentiality, He used the tools of mathematics to bend, crease, and shape reality to His will. And it was good.

There are three types of origami flower in this crown of thorns: lilies for Jesus’s purity, oleanders for the pattern’s cruciform shape, and cherry blossoms for springtime. Each of the 48 flowers took roughly ten minutes to fold, a meaningful time of meditation for me during Lent. The 160 leaves resemble olive branches, symbolizing “peace through the blood of [Christ’s] cross” (Col. 1:20). Both leaves and flowers were threaded with floral stem wire, which was twisted around branches in the crown of thorns.

I would like to thank Father James for conceiving of the idea with me at last year’s Easter vigil, my wife Melody for helping me envision the result, and Carol Woods and Melinda Mahoney for their guidance in the process of this art installation. It was an honor to take a symbol of Christ’s suffering and make it bloom for Eastertide.