Hand Illuminated Altar Cards for Archbishop Cordileone's Pontifical Mass Commemorating St. Junipero Serra

One of our readers, the priest who very kindly commissioned the altar cards in question, recently shared some new works of liturgical art that were produced for the occasion of the celebration of a Pontifical Mass for the feast of St. Juniper Serra -- the founder of nine of the twenty one California Spanish Missions -- by Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone at Mission Dolores (Mission San Francisco de Asís) in San Francisco. 

The altar cards were only one of a few items of contemporary liturgical art that were produced for this special occasion. However, rather than condense them all into one single post, we will try to tackle them one at a time, beginning with the always popular subject of hand illuminated altar cards. 

The cards in question were executed by Pelican Printery House and feature images of the two patron saints of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, Our Lady of Sorrows and St. Francis of Assisi, while the Lavabo card contains the image of St Junipero Serra himself -- modelled after the famous statue of him in Presidio Park. All of the saints images are framed by Spanish Mission style frames. In addition to these saints, various wildflowers that are native to the San Francisco area have been incorporated into the design (specifically, California poppies Indian Paintbrushes, Wild Iris, Evening Primrose, Baby Blue Eyes and Bush Mallows), as well as the arms of Archbishop Cordileone, thereby completing the 'local' theme -- and also demonstrating, once again, the power of bespoke liturgical art to give additional layers of meaning beyond the merely generic.

Here are a few more details for your consideration, enjoyment and inspiration:

The cards were set onto board, done in Japanese Sumi ink, gouache and watercolour paint with 24 karat gold leaf.

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