A Failed Trinitarian Image?

Why did the parishioners replace the 1932 Trinity with the 1992 image that fails to evoke the Trinitarian mystery? Or was it a failure on the part of the leaders of the parish to catechize the parishioners about the two trinities?

Yes, paradoxically, we find ourselves with two Trinitarian images and yet we are no closer to helping our parishioners deepen their Trinitarian devotion.

On one hand, we have an image based on a new Trinitarian theology but failed by the limitation of a highly Christo-centric iconography interpreted by most as an image of a resurrected Christ. And the other, an old and very small Trinitarian image on the side altar failed by our loss of historical memory and theological imagination.

Two images struggling to capture the beauty of our Triune God. Why not a third image then?


Well, most recently, a large scale banner depicting the Trinity has been placed on the main altar just on the left side of the 1992 Trinity. This image is that of the Trinity as three angels as epitomized by the icon of Andrei Rublev, the Russian orthodox saint. Some state that this flat banner does not represent any devotional, even theological, challenge to the 1932 and 1992 Trinities because the banner is merely decorative “liturgical art.” However, the pandora’s box has been opened. The flowers of Trinitarian imagery, whatever the limitations, have started to blossom.


~ by Martin Gaerlan on July 23, 2006.

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