SUNDAY, July 12: online class Exploring Prayer through Art.

Time flies fast! We are halfway the curriculum Exploring Prayer through Art and the meetings that have taken place until now were a great success. On a weekly basis, a colorful group of people is gathering online to observe, listen and share… The diversity of their backgrounds really adds to the learning experience and personally I cannot wait to get together for the remaining meetings!

My name is Marion and I’m the teacher of this curriculum. In case you haven’t heard about this class before: Exploring Prayer through Art takes you on a journey through the arts, on your way to recognition of feelings that are hard to describe. My goal is to offer you some tools that can help you to express yourself in prayer, or to enrich your prayer life. The class is based on our faith in Jesus Christ and is open to believers, skeptics, travelers and anybody else who is interested in this subject.

This curriculum is a series of six weekly Zoom meetings and the classes are free of charge.

You can still sign up and join us for the next meetings.

The dates of the remaining classes are:

  • Sunday, July 12
  • Sunday, July 19
  • Sunday, July 26

Time:

  • 9 am Pacific (Los Angeles, Seattle)
  • 10 am Mountain (Denver, Salt Lake City)
  • 11 am Central (Minneapolis, Chicago)
  • 12 noon Eastern time (New York City, Miami)
  • 5 pm (London)
  • 6 pm (Amsterdam, Paris)
  • 8 pm (Moscow, Istanbul)

Send us a message through our contact-page if you’re interested in joining the classes.

In case you’d first like an appetizer, you can click on this Youtube-link…

Troisième Leçon de Ténèbres – composed by François Couperin

…And while you’re listening to this music, please read the words below:

EXCERPT FROM THE ROOTLESS, A NOVEL BY MARION ALTENA. Words are from the main character of the story:

…In the meantime a playlist of baroque music played a steady stream of classical tones in the background. For several minutes already, two women had been singing. The delicate voices of these sopranos made me stop for a minute what I was doing. How incredibly beautiful this was! The way in which they interpreted this music… it instantaneously brought to mind the images of two by-whatever-tragedy-that-may-have-befallen-them lost souls, in some godforsaken street, sitting in embrace on the ground while leaning against the exterior wall of a house late at night. From one moment of desperately clinging on to each other, melting together in their joint elegy, to then be separated by their individual agony and seemingly briefly forgetting about the other’s existence. To which the other in turn responded with her own emotions, introspectively, demurely. This felt so serene, so intense…! What was this piece called anyway? Troisième Leçon de Ténèbres by François Couperin… I quickly looked up more information. It turned out that this Third Lesson Of The Darkness – creepy title by the way – was composed in light of the suffering of Lent prior to Easter. The words being sung came from the Book of Lamentations, in which the prophet Jeremiah mourns the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians. In the Catholic tradition a symbolic connection was made between the loneliness of Jesus and Judas and His frightened, disloyal followers. Wow… so heavy! Couperin knew exactly how to touch a raw nerve, at least, mine. I quivered and at the same time I felt an ‘a-ha’ realization: this music had the power to heal people. I was sure of that. If only I could accomplish that with my photos…

The power of a composer such a Couperin clearly lay in the words and melodies. My strength on the other hand lay in speaking through visual art. But – if he was able to bring about images in my mind with his music, would I not be able to teach people to express themselves with the help of my photography?

© Marion Altena 2011.