This day has proved to be another good day but with weather that was once again a bit unpredictable. In the morning it was raining and wet, then sunny, then cloudy and very windy. It is rather difficult to make plans when the weather is like this.
In spite of the weather, Archbishop Lazar and I both managed to read the Panikhida at 14.00. Following this, I went on to the computer to continue researching my little sewing machine. As well, I also found an excellent site that is dedicated to something that is quite important in the Orthodox Christian life and that is graphics. Orthodox Christianity has always been a visual faith but much of our graphic culture seems to have been lost by those who left the “Old World” and come to the “New World”. Many of you may not know what I mean sooo, let me explain by siting just one example.
In countries such as Russia, Greece or the area of the Carpathian Mountains, books were created by hand, both the printing as well as all illustrations. When printing presses began to be used in many areas, care was taken to replicate the look and feel of the traditional hand printed books.
Here in North and South America, our holy books are printed on modern presses but the apprearance of the script, of the illustrations, of the formatting, is not carefully planned or thought out, at least it doesn’t appear that way to me. All of this is leading up to the site I found on the web. This site is dedicated to the creation of beautiful books for Orthodox use. Slowly the people running the site are collecting all types of graphics: page borders, line drawings, page headers and so much more. When I saw this, I practically stood cheering in my chair because this is something I have been hoping for, for many years. This might seem like something that doesn’t matter but the beauty of a printed page affects the viewer whether that person is aware of it or not. Every effort we make is a missionary effort and so we want to share our faith in the most positive way, and beautiful page presentation is one important way of doing so.
By searching the web, I have found a number of sites dedicated to the creation and preservation of graphics, especially iconography and traditional architectural forms. There are also a number of sites dedicated to calligraphy, both hand and machine. This is all quite exciting and offers so many possibilities for the beautification of Orthodox holy places and the removal and replacement of improper icons and inaccurate service book translations. Let us pray for this aspect of our Orthodox Faith and the missionary possibilities, while also remembering that “Christ is Risen.”