Illuminating Faith: The Eucharist in Medieval Life and Art

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The Morgan Library & Museum, on Madison Avenue in New York, is hosting an exhibition called “Illuminating Faith: The Eucharist in Medieval Life and Art.” Here is the first paragraph of the Morgan Library’s description:

When Christ changed bread and wine into his body and blood at the Last Supper, he instituted the Eucharist and established the central act of Christian worship. For medieval Christians, the Eucharist (the sacrament of Communion) was not only at the heart of the Mass—but its presence and symbolism also wielded enormous influence over cultural and civic life. Featuring more than sixty-five exquisitely illuminated manuscripts, Illuminating Faith offers glimpses into medieval culture, and explores the ways in which artists of the period depicted the celebration of the sacrament and its powerful hold on society.

Some of the beautiful manuscript illuminations may be seen here.

Curator Roger Wieck of the Morgan Library & Museum also produced an informative YouTube video, focusing especially on the Sacred Bleeding Host of Dijon, the cult of which thrived for over 350 years. I called the video “informative.” It is that, but it is not without some dose of skepticism. It seems to me that Mr. Wieck does not “take sides” in the dispute over authenticity, but presents things with a sort of neutrality.

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