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Adult Formation

The Chapel of the Cross offers a robust collection of opportunities to encourage all parishioners in the lifelong process of growing in relationship with God, self, others, and all creation.

More information on Formation opportunities can be found in our seasonal brochure (below). There, you’ll find details about Sunday morning presentations (by clergy, laity and local experts on topics related to our Christian faith and issues of the day), Adult Inquirers/newcomers class, numerous small group book and Bible studies (that meet throughout the year) and other special events.  Our programs are currently meeting in person, in hybrid classrooms and through YouTube, Zoom and other virtual platforms.  For more information, contact Boykin Bell.


Sunday Morning Adult Formation (December 12): The Adoration in Art with the Rev. Dr. Nick Carter

The Rev. Dr. Nick Carter, retired President of Andover Newton Theological School (Newton, MA.) and docent at the UNC Ackland Art Museum, led us through an exploration of the Adoration in Art.  The sun in the parish hall was bright and the shade trees bare so it was a bit hard to see some of the detail in the art works.  Dr. Carter has provided a bibliography for those who would like to look more closely at the art.

If you would like to visit the UNC Ackland Museum, it is open Wednesday – Sunday. More information about hours and exhibits can be found here.

Adorations of the Magi (Matthew):

Adoration of the Magi, Giotto di Boubone,  ca. 1360, The Metropolitan Museum, New York.

The Magi Visiting Mary and Child, 240 CE, the Catacombs of Priscilla (Rome). (Note that these catacombs contain the oldest known depictions of Christian art.)

Adoration of the Magi on an engraved sarcophagus, 4th century, Vatican Museum.

Mosaic of the Three Magi followed by twenty-two virgins, 561 CE, Sant Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna.

Adoration of the Magi, Pietro Cavallini, 1296-1300, Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere, Rome.

Adoration of the Magi, Leonardo de Vinci, 1480, Uffizi Gallery, Florence.

Adoration of the Magi, Filippo Lippi, 1496, Uffizi Gallery, Florence.

Adoration of the Magi, Hieronymous Bosch, 1485, Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain. (Take note of the phoenix rising from the myrrh and what seems to be a sinister, fourth magi lurking in the door.)

Adoration of the Magi, Peter Paul Rubens, 1609-1629, Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain. (Rubens painted more versions of the Adoration than he did of any other events in Jesus’ life.  This painting should be approached from the right so that the viewer is  drawn to the brilliant Christ Child at the left.  The man wearing the gold chain is likely Rubens himself, inserted into the narrative.)

Adorations of the Shepherds (Luke):

The Holy Family with a Shepherd, Titian, 1510, National Gallery, London.

The Nativity, Antonio de Correggio, 1529-1530, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden. (Note the number of women in the painting.  Girls were often shepherds, as mentioned in the bible many times.)

Adoration of the Shepherds, Caravaggio, 1608-1609, Interdisciplinary Regional Museum of Messina, Italy. (Note that use of the chiaroscuro technique.  The Christ child himself is a source of light.  Mary sits not on a throne or elevated dais but on the ground. There are faint halos on some of the surrounding figures but the emphasis is on the wonder of the birth itself.)

Adoration of the Shepherds, Peter Paul Rubens, 1608, Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain. (Rubens depicted this moment many times and this is but one example.  Here is another.  St. Brigid reported having a vision of the nativity in which a light coming from the Christ child lit those around him.  This vision influenced many artists.)

Adoration of the Shepherds, El Greco, 1614, Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain.

A still image from A Charlie Brown ChristmasWritten by Charles M Schultz. Directed by Bill Melendez. Lee Mendelson Fim Productions, 1965.