Here is another media preview of the new Twin Falls Temple that comes from Local News channel 8 in Idaho Falls and Pocatello Idaho. It gives more details concerning the murals in the garden room, painted by Rexburg artist Leon Parson. Parson skillfully included the Idaho Shoshone Falls in the depiction of the creation in these murals. Please forgive the commercial at the beginning of the clip.
In response to a comment by Rick on my post “Consecrate = ‘A Filled Hand’ in Hebrew” I did some searching to see if I could find any commentary or studies of palm up/palm down symbolism in scholarship or art. What I found was interesting. The palm up/palm down posture has a significant place in Christian art throughout the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, particularly in the figure of Christ. They have been called the “judging gestures.” ((Jane C. Long, “Salvation through Meditation: The Tomb Frescoes in the Holy Confessors Chapel at Santa Croce in Florence,” Gesta, Vol. 34, No. 1 (1995), pp. 79.))
I first happened upon a depiction of The Last Judgment by Giotto in the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua, Veneto, Italy. This artwork was completed about in about 1305. The scene is a typical judgment, with Christ in the center, the saved on his right, and the damned on his left. One commenter adds some interesting insight into his posture:
The seven virtues and seven vices are sometimes shown in opposition. In the Scrovegni chapel, the Last Judgement shows God with his right hand palm up towards the saved, and along the right wall are the seven virtues. His left hand is palm down towards the damned, and along the left wall are the seven vices, each opposite its corresponding virtue. ((Number Symbolism in the Middle Ages.))
The word orant, or latin orans, is a noun form of the verb orare, to pray, and describes an early mode of prayer practiced by the first Christians ((http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/orant)). From Wikipedia we read:
Orant is a type of gesture during prayer in which the hands are raised, set apart, and the palms face outward. It was once common in early Christianity, and can frequently be seen in early Christian art, but has since become quite rare. The gesture is more common in Catholic worship, esoteric sects, and in certain forms of exorcism ritual. It is commonly used in small group renewal weekend settings such as Cursillo. This renewal weekend is offered by Catholic, Lutheran, and Episcopal churches. It is common in some charismatic churches during praiseful singing as well. ((http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orant))
The image above comes to us from the Basilica of Sant’ Apollinare in Ravenna, Italy:
Saint Apollinare, the first bishop of Ravenna, is robed in a white dalmatic and purple tunic, embroidered with bees, symbolizing eloquence. He is in the early Christian “orant” position–with outstretched arms praying. ((http://www.bluffton.edu/~sullivanm/italy/classe/santapollinare/santapollinare2.html)) [Read more…]