I captured this book-binding footage at Kingsport Book, Tennessee.
Chapel Edition
Ritual Edition
The front cover is a design that combines two motifs from the first millennium of Christian art: a cross with foliate carving on its arms and a wreathed Chi Rho with alpha and omega. The cross is inspired by a 9th century ivory Evangeliary cover, now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Chi Rho is from an early Christian marble carving in the Museo Pio Cristiano. Traditionally the sign of Christ that converted Constantine, the Chi Rho became his protective emblem, and then his victory banner. In LTP’s design by Anna Manhart, this ancient symbol unites the arms of the cross at their apex. The wreath that encircles the Chi Rho was part of the labarum, or military standard, on which it was affixed. Now, as then, this “crown” of victory focuses the viewer’s attention. The leafy arms of the cross speak of the life that sprang from the sacrifice on that Cross, and the alpha and omega remind us that Christ’s victory over death, his Paschal Mystery, is for all time. These images seem especially expressive for the book by which the Church will celebrate, again and again, this mystery. The sign that Christians trace upon their bodies also embraces this book.
Photo © John Zich http://www.zrimages.com/
Photo © John Zich http://www.zrimages.com/
Photo © John Zich http://www.zrimages.com/
Photo © John Zich http://www.zrimages.com/
Photo © John Zich http://www.zrimages.com/
Photo © John Zich http://www.zrimages.com/
Photo © John Zich http://www.zrimages.com/
Photo © John Zich http://www.zrimages.com/
Chapel Edition (shorter arms on the cross) 7 x 9 inches page. Photo © John Zich http://www.zrimages.com/
Ritual Edition (longer arms on the cross) 8.5 x 11 inches page. Photo © John Zich http://www.zrimages.com/
Cover and tabs design development. Photos © John Zich http://www.zrimages.com/
Cover development 01. Photo © John Zich zrimages.com
Cover development 02. Photo © John Zich zrimages.com
Interior art development. Art © Matthew Alderman Studios. Photo © John Zich http://www.zrimages.com/
The Last Supper
Page 2    The Apostles cluster around the table (Matthew 26:19 – 20). Christ wears a casula or Roman traveling cloak, recalling Moses’s injunction to stand dressed for travel at the Passover (Exodus 12:11). The forerunner of the modern chasuble, this garment also hints at his eternal priesthood. All but one of the disciples turn to him as he pronounces the words of Institution (1 Corinthians 11:23 –26). Judas glances away, clutching the thirty pieces of silver to his heart. Peter, who will himself deny Christ, stands to the right of Jesus, with the carcass of the Paschal lamb on a platter in front of him. The handle of a carving knife, protruding from the animal on the platter, prefigures both the sword Peter will draw on the Mount of Olives (John 18:10) and the spear that will pierce the side of Christ (John 19:34). The young Apostle John (often associated with the apostle “whom Jesus loved”) serenely leans on Christ’s shoulder (John 13:23). In front of the table, wine and water jars recall the miracle at Cana, foreshadowing the Eucharist to come (John 2:1–11) Art by Matthew Alderman Studios http://matthewalderman.com/
Advent: The Last Judgment
Page 138    This depiction of Christ draws upon a number of long-established artistic and scriptural traditions that show Jesus in a blood-red or purple royal robe (Revelation 19:13; Matthew 27:28; Mark 15:17) and seated upon a rainbow (Revelation 4:3; Ezekiel 10:2). His stigmata are clearly visible on his hands and side. His right hand blesses the saved, the sheep of the parable, while his left dismisses the goats (Matthew 25:41). Christ’s feet rest upon a “wheel within a wheel,” an angelic being from Ezekiel’s vision of the divine Glory (Ezekiel 1:16; 10:10). On either side, other attendant angels hold the Cross of the Crucifixion and the pillar of the scourging, a common detail from depictions of the Last Judgment and reminiscent of Old Testament visions of God accompanied by cherubim and seraphim (Isaiah 6, Ezekiel 10). The column, from Pilate’s praetorium, is shown with a composite capital, a design element associated at different points with both ancient Roman authority and the majesty of the Church. Here it has been further ornamented with a depiction of one of Christ’s sacred wounds. Art by Matthew Alderman Studios http://matthewalderman.com/
Nativity of the Lord (Vigil Mass)
Page 170    The Blessed Virgin and Saint Joseph adore the newborn Jesus (Luke 2:7; Matthew 2:11), framed by the stalactites of the mouth of the cave-like stable. An angel attends them. Joseph holds a taper, a common attribute in depictions of the birth of Christ, while the Star of Bethlehem, leading the Wise Men onward, has just appeared over the distant horizon. Art by Matthew Alderman Studios http://matthewalderman.com/
Epiphany of the Lord (Vigil Mass): The Adoration of the Magi
Page 186    In age and ethnicity, the Magi represent the three ages of humankind and three continents known to the Western world at the time of Christ’s birth. The youngest points upward to the star that has led them to the feet of the infant King (Matthew 2:3 –12). The casket he holds, representing the prophetic, funerary gift of myrrh, introduces the motif of the strigil (evenly spaced wavy lines), repeated elsewhere in this series. This emblem, a stylized representation of a tool used to scrape sweat and dirt from the bodies of Greco-Roman athletes, was a common form of decoration for sarcophagi of the period. It represents the victory of eternal life (2 Timothy 4:7). Art by Matthew Alderman Studios http://matthewalderman.com/
Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper: The Washing of Peter’s Feet
Page 302    The art depicts Christ, vested in an apron, kneeling to wash Peter’s feet. The apostle protests of his unworthiness (John 13:8). John accompanies Jesus with ewer and basin, a detail taken from older depictions that assign him this role. The washing of the feet (John 13:1–15) differs from the narratives of the Institution of the Eucharist in the synoptic accounts of the Gospel. John provides a theological understanding of the Eucharist as a call to humble service of our neighbor. This illustration of John’s account provides a natural visual segue between the ritual action of the washing of the feet and the participation in the Holy Eucharist. Art by Matthew Alderman Studios http://matthewalderman.com/
Easter Vigil: The Women at the Tomb
Page 342    The three women approach the cave-like tomb of Christ. (Mary Magdalene, and Mary, the mother of James, are joined by Salome (according to Mark 16:1), or by Joanna (in Luke 24:10). The women hold vessels containing myrrh and aloes to anoint the body of the dead Christ (Luke 24:1), and we know Mary Magdalene by her long, flowing hair. The angel sits upon the empty sarcophagus, half-covered by the discarded shroud, and reveals to them the good news of Jesus’s Resurrection (Mark 16:5). The red sunrise is framed by the mouth of the cave. Site of Christ’s Resurrection and the dawn of the New Covenant, it recalls the cave of the Nativity in Bethlehem. The strigil (wavy line) motif on the side of the tomb appeared also in the image of the Epiphany and represents Christ’s victory over death. Art by Matthew Alderman Studios http://matthewalderman.com/
Ascension of the Lord
Page 430    Set against the leafy boughs of the Mount of Olives, Christ ascends to heaven, surrounded by the Apostles and his Mother (Acts 1:1–11). His right hand, raised in blessing, recalls the Great Commission to baptize “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). Art by Matthew Alderman Studios http://matthewalderman.com/
Pentecost (Vigil Mass): The Descent of the Holy Spirit
Page 446    Beneath a swirling mass of red waves recalling the “strong, driving wind,” the Apostles cluster together in the Cenacle around the Mother of God, who sits with her hands upraised in prayer (Acts 2:1– 5). Tongues of flame hang above their heads, and all are filled with the strength of the Holy Spirit. Art by Matthew Alderman Studios http://matthewalderman.com/
Eucharistic Prayer I (The Roman Canon): The Crucifixion
Page 644    Against a dark background recalling the solar eclipse that marked the Crucifixion (Matthew 27:45), the Blessed Virgin and Saint John stand beneath the arms of Christ. Jesus’s body is marked by the lance wound at his side, the nail marks and the scrapes, cuts, and stains of his scourging and his falls along the road to Calvary. Blood and water run down Christ’s torso toward the loincloth, linking his sacrifice on the Cross and the first shedding of his blood at his circumcision as an infant (Luke 2:21). This symbolic joining of the Old and New Covenants can be seen in numerous traditional depictions of the Crucifixion. A skull at Christ’s feet recalls the name of Calvary, or Golgotha, “the Place of the Skull” (Mark 15:22) and legendary burial site of Adam. In the background, we see the walled city of Jerusalem with its Temple. Art by Matthew Alderman Studios http://matthewalderman.com/
March 25: Annunciation of the Lord
Page 840    The Archangel Gabriel enters into the Blessed Virgin’s home to announce the coming of Christ (Luke 1:26-38). Behind them, the curtained space opens out onto an enclosed garden, a traditional Marian symbol (Song of Songs 4:12), with the hills of Nazareth visible on the horizon. A parted curtain suggests both the fleshly veiling of Christ within the Mother of God’s womb and the unveiling of the coming mystery of Christ’s birth. The book open on a reading stand recalls the tradition of depicting Mary meditating upon the scriptures as the Word of God becomes incarnate within her body (John 1:14). A vase of three lilies, often depicted in this scene, symbolizes Marian purity. Art by Matthew Alderman Studios http://matthewalderman.com/
June 29: Saints Peter and Saint Paul, Apostles
Page 884    The Prince of the Apostles and the Apostle to the Gentiles appear with their attributes: for Peter, the inverted cross and keys (Matthew 16:19), for Paul, the book, representing his epistles, and the “sword of the Spirit” (Ephesians 6:17). Saint Peter’s Basilica appears above, built on rock, serving as an icon of the Church (Matthew 16:18) and recalling the Roman origins of their solemnity. Below, a small fishing boat can be seen sailing on the Sea of Galilee, evoking another traditional metaphor for the Church: the “barque of Peter.” The physical appearance of each apostle is derived from artistic precedents that can be traced back to the catacombs. Art by Matthew Alderman Studios http://matthewalderman.com/
August 6: Transfiguration of the Lord
Page 916    Christ is surrounded by a circular blaze of glory, crowned by a halo reminiscent of the triumphal crux gemmata (jeweled cross). On either side stand Moses and Elijah, conversing with him (Luke 9:28 – 36). Below, the apostles Peter, James, and John react with startled awe, and in the case of Peter, some degree of nervous if well-intentioned incoherence (Luke 9:33). Art by Matthew Alderman Studios http://matthewalderman.com/
August 15: Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Page 926    The body of the Blessed Virgin is taken up to heaven by rejoicing angels. Below, the Apostles have gathered to mark her death and look up in wonder as they discover her tomb to be empty and full of fragrant flowers. The strigil (wavy line) motif on her tomb also links Mary’s pre-emptive salvation through the Immaculate Conception to Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross. Art by Matthew Alderman Studios http://matthewalderman.com/
November 1: All Saints
Page 978    The image is inspired by the vision of the “great multitude” in the book of Revelation (7:9). Here the multitude is shown as the saints of all places, peoples, and times. Together, they salute the Lamb of God in song (Revelation 5:6; 7:10). The Lamb’s side is pierced, and resting on its shoulder is a triumphal cross marked with five gems representing Christ’s five stigmata. The book closed with seven seals, on which the lamb is standing, and three of the “four living creatures” in the corners of the image (the man, lion, and ox), are also derived from John’s visions (Revelation 5:1; 4:7). Instead of the fourth living creature, the eagle, which is also a symbol of the Apostle John, we see the evangelist himself at the lower right corner conversing with one of the heavenly Elders (Revelation 7:13 –14) and writing down all he sees.  At lower left is a seascape representing the coast of Patmos, the site of John’s revelation (Revelation 1:9). Art by Matthew Alderman Studios http://matthewalderman.com/
December 8: Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Page 1012    This image depicts the Blessed Virgin as the “woman clothed with the sun” of the Book of Revelation (12:1), an image traditionally associated with this Marian solemnity. The crescent moon on which she stands represents the Mother of God as the perfect mirror of her Son’s light. Curled in defeat below her is the tempting serpent of Genesis (3:15), holding the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in its mouth. Art by Matthew Alderman Studios http://matthewalderman.com/
Cover design by Anna Manhart; interior art by Matthew Alderman Studios http://matthewalderman.com/
Photo © John Zich http://www.zrimages.com/
Cover development 03. Photo © John Zich zrimages.com

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