Saturday, May 10, 2008

New Stations of the Cross?

There is a Church that is closing in the diocese they need to get rid of their stations. Ours are painted plaster, they have lost their original frames and have been repainted, I think in the 1970s.
The carved ones are about the same period as the Church, at least stylistically.
They are the same width as the plaster one but most are not as tall.
What do you think?


Physiocrat said...

Perhaps, we need to see what they look like in the place where they would actually be, you can't tell just by imagining. Can we borrow one or at least make a cardboard cut out of the same size. Ours are not wonderful but they are probably contemporary with the church.

Anonymous said...

If it were a choice between the top one and the bottom one I would choose the bottom one without any hesitation.

If I think about the stations of the cross I ask myself what is their purpose?

To recall the passion and death of Jesus Christ
To facililate an active meditation on the key events
To bring about contrition for sin - Oh my Lord what have I done to you.

The key ingredients necessary to move my heart the most are

1) Realistic form
2) Emotional engagement of the figures.

Wood is very nice and the capturing of movement in the top one is very potent. However, the lack of coloration hides the facial expression. I love the way the despair is captured in the bottom one. Especially the lady in the background holding her hand to her cheek. I love the way our Holy Mother gazes on His dead body. It is so true to form. When you love someone and see their dead body you gaze at them recalling all their life and being in your heart, loving them through death itself. This has happened to me and I've seen it a number of times most notably when one mother's baby died. The mother could not help herself but look with all her maternal love on the body of this baby.

If the bottom one is yours and you do decide to replace them can you let me know. I may be able to find a very suitable home for them.

If I were to decide, based upon what you've shown here. I would highly value the bottom set over the top.

Happy choosing!

Mulier Fortis said...

I like the wooden ones, but they will be a swine to keep dust-free, and they will quickly look shabby and neglected if not dusted.

I also really like your current ones, and given the lighting levels in the church (at least as far as I can remember) I think it's best to stick to these.

Anonymous said...

Go for the carved ones, they have artistic merit, the plaster ones have none.
It is like comparing Plainchant with Kumbaya!

Anonymous said...

My vote for the carved stations.

Anonymous said...

What will the cost be?
If the new ones are less than restoring the old, it would be foolish not to have them.

PeterHWright said...

Artistically, carved wood is superior, especially in a neo Gothic setting.

You can more easily get way with painted plaster in a baroque church.

But Henry is right. You need to know their size, and how they would look in situ.

Scale and perspective is of very great importance.

Phil said...

I like both.

If you want to see some really bad stations, visit Our Lady of Lourdes, Coffee Hall, Milton Keynes. ( ) Mind you, at least they hold to the traditional themes, unlike a certain cathedral, I could mention.

Ttony said...

Why not exhibit a couple of the old ones in situ and let parishioners decide that the carved ones will look much better!.

Terry Nelson said...

I believe it is always better to go with the finer pieces, which in this case would be the carved ones, they have more "artistic merit" and will endure much longer. The colorful ones are nice for children.

Anonymous said...

Which church is closing, Father?

gemoftheocean said...

Better poll your parishioners. *in general* the carved wood might be better artistically, but emotionally the painted ones have a lot of emotional appeal.

Do you have pictures of what the original frames etc. looked like? Does the school have a chapel or hall where Mass is also said?

Even if "A" might be artistically superior to "B" don't underestimate the emotional attachment. You also, if memory serves, have a lot of people from eastern Europe to whom "B" might have more appeal.

And mind what Mac says re: care of the carvings as being a pain to keep dusted. I'm not saying "don't" on that account - but make sure you have staff to do it.

Anonymous said...

Fr Ray,
This seems to be turning into poll, can you tell who is a paeishioner?
J go for the carved upgrade!
Molly Brown

nickbris said...

Yes Father we should have them,they will fit in well when St.Mary Mags is refurbished.

They look more traditional.

Anonymous said...

If I were to choose for my own set of stations I would choose the wooden ones but for the whole parish, children included, the painted ones refurbished. I agree with Mac that the wooden ones must be kept dusted and perhaps oiled once a year to avoid looking shabby; trust a woman to be practical!

Anonymous said...

I wish I were young enough to be able to get up give the station a good wash, they have the grime of ages on them. The trouble with washing plaster, is it dissolves.

Sharon: OILED ONCE A YEAR? I don't think they are patio furniture. A feather duster once a month, maybe, same maintainence needed for plaster.

Fr Ray Blake said...

"Why not exhibit both...?"
There will be a need for a quick "sale". I don't think they will let us have them on "appro".

Anonymous said...

Are the wooden Stations the same size as the plaster ones or are they smaller or bigger. Knowing the dimensions might help parishioners decide.

Fr Ray Blake said...

I have just addad,
"They are the same width as the plaster one but most are not as tall."

Anonymous said...

Pleae let us have the wooden ones, Father. I think they would look very fine in St Mary Magdalen and are definitely superior to the plaster stations we have now

Anonymous said...

They will make a very fine start to the refurbishment of the church, so please go ahead and get them if you can.

Anonymous said...

My only quibble is that it is not clear whether the numbered crosses are attached to the plaster stations. Fourteen crosses are required for the indulgence, the illustrations are an optional extra - don't lose the indulgence.

Anonymous said...

I think we should change our stations of the cross as soon as possible.
What about their crib figures for us?

Love Ann

The Lord’s descent into the underworld

At Matins/the Office of Readings on Holy Saturday the Church gives us this 'ancient homily', I find it incredibly moving, it is abou...