The Ongoing Evolution of North American Martyrs Parish in Edmonds, Washington

Over the past year, we have been checking in with Jasper and Scheer Liturgical Art, and their project of beautifying the North American Martyrs parish in Edmonds, Washington. We began with their altar in January of this year, and then turned back to the project later in February when they added a reredos, and now we return yet again with the addition of a new painted crucifixion scene behind the same:

It is worth noting that incorporated within this mural are various images of both local as well as symbolic interest, including the incorporation of images of various parishioners as well as children of the parish who have died over the years. 

As a reminder, readers may recall the first two iterations of this project:

I present the first two iterations to bring to mind an important point. The contemporary mind has a tendency to expect final results "now" (perhaps, in part, because we are used to receiving ancient works as such) but in actuality the task of beautifying contemporary sanctuaries and churches needs to be understood in terms of decades -- if not centuries -- (never mind months as in this instance). In that regard, it is important to consider any such projects in such terms and judge accordingly for the first pass does not equate to the final pass. 

In that vein, if, in looking at the present project you think to yourself that something still seems to be "missing" (what with the blank horizontal space that sits beneath the new mural and to either side of the altar) well, you would not be incorrect -- nor would you be identifying something not already known to the liturgical artists and benefactors in question for forthcoming in the project is still the addition of a carved panel that will fill this void. 

This panel will surround the altar on either side and will feature eight full figure carvings of the North American Martyrs. 

Here is a sketch of what is yet to come:

This should nicely fill out the rest of the visual space while also tying together it all together into a unified whole.

LAJ certainly looks forward to the next iteration of the project. 

For more information on their work or other projects, please visit Jasper & Scheer Liturgical Art.

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