United Church of Christ

Using Art in Worship


Suggestions for Use:

First things first: Display!  In order for the congregation to consider the piece, they need to see it.  There are a number of ways to approach this:

  • Print the piece and frame it, so that it may be displayed in the narthex or chancel.
  • A more modern variation on the first suggestion is to project it onto a screen or wall.
  • Use the piece as the cover for the bulletin.
  • Print the piece to use as inserts in the bulletin.

The bottom line is that the piece needs to be seen.  These ideas will work, but are certainly not the only ways to display. 

More ideas:

  • Print the piece or a detail of the piece on small cards (postcard sized, business card sized, or bookmark sized), with the theme for that day of Advent, or with the scripture for the day, to be used as focal points for prayer or meditation.
    • If you like this idea, you might consider not just handing them out, but having them available during/after/before worship for people to come and take.  It could even be incorporated into the liturgy somewhere.
    • Use the pieces as focal points in an Advent Bible study, encouraging the congregants to see if the scripture they are studying looks any different with this next to it.
    • Using the questions below as a starting point, create an interactive sermon exploring the scripture through the art.

Questions to Ponder While Considering the Art:

(In no particular order…)

  • What stands out to you about this piece?  Where is your eye drawn?
  • How do you suppose this piece relates to the lectionary for today?  The theme for today? Does it help you see a familiar text in a different way?
  • How does this piece make you feel?
  • Can you use this piece as a lens through which to view current events?  Today’s scripture?  Your congregation?
  • Why do you suppose the artist chose this image for today’s theme?  What do you intuit about the artist’s thought process?

Using Art in Worship:  suggestions prepared by the Rev. Erin Beardemphl, Redlands, California

Copyright 2017  Faith Formation Ministry Team, United Church of Christ, 700 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, OH  44115-1100.  Permission granted to reproduce or adapt this material for use in services of worship or church education.  All publishing rights reserved.  

‘Detail from “Love” by Erin Beardemphl.   Pink, brown, yellow, green  Mx Dye on patterned cotton-landscape—18.25” x 23”
©2017 Erin Beardemphl; all rights reserved; reproduced with permission.’