6 Tips to Find the Right Sacred Art For Your Church

You’ve felt the absence…

…of beauty in your Catholic Church, the space that is meant to speak of the Divine but some how misses the mark. White walls or worse yet, cheap and tacky décor and architecture that fails to proclaim what is actually taking place in the sacrifice of the mass.

Your Catholic community unites in truth, yes, and even shares goodness with all it offers in the Sacraments and outreach but this sacred place of worship, where Mass is held, needs the third leg of the transcendentals, Beauty. Beauty is just as essential to the growth of one’s faith and the encounter of the Lord Himself. It helps remind the soul it was made for Heaven. As you recognize this reality, you now seek to restore sacred beauty in your own church, however, investing in sacred art is a big decision and you may not feel like you know how to exactly begin.

How do you decide what is best for your parish and what will be most fruitful? Here are 6 tips I would love to offer you as a sacred art painter to help you in your search!!

1. Begin in prayer. It’s important to always let the Lord lead your decision, ask Christ to guide your heart and lead your search. As a sacred artist, I’ve learned the most important part is to first sit in adoration and listen to the Lord. For anything to be done well, the Holy Spirit needs to be the one moving. I truly believe He will inspire your heart to the right type of art, the right themes, and the right artist to do the job. All you have to do is ask.

2. Next, ask yourself what your community needs to be reminded of most. From all the time you spend with your parishioners, what is it that they need to see most? Maybe it’s a reminder of the true presence in the Eucharist, maybe they would benefit from seeing what leads them to again hope in God’s Mercy or maybe to recall there is a heaven and hell. If you’re not quite sure about this answer yet, begin conversations with folks and write down common threads you notice.

Photo by Kate Capato

3. Another thing to consider, does your community have a patron saint or special devotion to Christ or Our Lady? Having this saint or a special devotion portrayed visually can bear much fruit in your community so they can visualize what is a strong core charisma for your parish.

4. Once you’ve asked these key questions, it is now important to explore where this work of art should be displayed. Is it best in front of the church or in the back as they begin to leave? The theme can be what determines the best location, though sometimes it may be due simply to what space is available. Keep in mind, anything closer to the Altar should help the congregation enter deeper into the Eucharist in some way. For side art or something in the back of the church, you can have separate spaces to pray with different saints, devotions or the concept of the call to evangelization.

Church of Saints Peter & Paul-Istanbul Photo by: Faruk Tokluoglu from Pexels

5. When the above questions are answered well you can then narrow down what size is appropriate. The theme and space it’ll be displayed will help you have a better sense of the scale needed to properly express the Sacred message.

While budget is important to consider here, it’s key to remember that God will provide and to not downplay the powerful message that is to be shared through beauty. If a theme is going to require many figures, a larger mural size may be ideal so details can be seen well. If it’s one or two figures a midsize or smaller work may still be just as impactful. The main goal is to be sure the size helps draw the viewer into prayer and fits well in the space it’ll be displayed. Furthermore, keep in mind things like framing that will likely be needed once the work is completed so you can better gauge the final outcome.

Defender Original Art & Photo by Kate Capato

6. Search well for the appropriate artist to create this work. You want to be sure the artist is not simply talented and that you enjoy their work but that they understand the faith and ultimately seek to glorify God through what they create. Having an artist of faith is essential to creating a truly sacred work. Get to know the artist a bit and ask them both faith and art questions so you can understand if they are a good fit for what you hope to have created.

Lastly, realize having sacred art made will take time and finding what’s best for your Church is a journey so don’t feel rushed to choose something hastily but find peace in knowing God is walking with you and the artist meant for the job.

Kate Capato

Kate is a Sacred Art Painter, Inspirational Speaker, and Faith-filled Movement artist on a mission to spread God's love through beauty! Her inspiration comes from prayerful encounters with the Lord, and the rich traditions of our Catholic faith. When she's not creating something faith inspired, Kate is often traveling all over the world with her hubby soaking in the wonders of God's creation, or spending time with family and friends to live every moment to the fullest. To see her work, visit her portfolio below and share in this mission of spreading truth and goodness.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *