The Time of the Church - Green Season
Branches-Of-Praise Chancel Hangings
Cedar Rapids, IA
Branches-of-Praise are an appropriate visual faith expression for the Green season of the Church year. A metaphor for The Body of Believers, branches grow and bear fruit, rooted in Jesus Christ, The True Vine. When hung on each side of a church chancel, they form an implied arc-of-praise over the altar.
I am the vine, you are the branches.
If a man remains in me and I in him,
he will bear much fruit; apart from me
you can do nothing.
Love each other as I have loved you. Jn 15:5,12
These two 12' x 3' Liturgical hangings reflect several layered mixed media techniques: The branch-stems are spray-painted stencil-grids of triangle-shapes. The leaves inside the oval-arcs are stencil-shapes that have been colored in various hues of oil-pastel; smaller 'negative' shapes were cut out of the leaves, giving them greater texture as well as allowing the contrasting green cloth underneath to show through.
Those who are planted in the house of the Lord
shall flourish in the courts of our God;
they shall still bear fruit in old age;
they shall be green and succulent,
that they may show how upright the Lord is,
my rock, in whom there is no injustice. Ps 92:12-15
The text within the branch-design functions several ways; Scriptural text arcs over each stem-extension, uniformly, creating a delicate lacy texture, with spots of color that look like small-bud-flowers. The viewer is drawn closer, recognizing words that enrich the meaning of this Branch-of-Praise symbol. The text reads from the left hanging-top-down, to the right hanging-top-down.
Christ the shoot that springs triumphant,
from the stump of Jesse's tree;
Christ, true vine, you nurture branches
To bear fruit abundantly.
Graft us into you, O Savior;
Prune our hearts so we remain
fruitful branches in your vineyard....
#540, v. 3, Lutheran Service Book,
Text: Steven P. Mueller
Serving through Art for Worship,