Once again I’ll point towards a great article over at New Liturgical Movement.
Recently, Dr. Kwasniewski wrote a piece covering some exquisite custom-made altar cards from Notre Dame in Paris, France. They are rather beautiful, and they speak more and more to the great Catholic trait and habit of beautifying and sacralizing even the most basic of things. Sadly, this trait was thrown out, with so much else, in and since the 1960s. The Church, that great patron of the arts and the financier to some of the greatest pieces of art known, cast off Her usual beauty for what can only be described as mundane trash (at its best!).
We’ve begun to see some restoration and progression back to beauty in our liturgies, our books, our publications (as can be seen through articles written at NLM and places like Adoremus), which is grand, but we still need to push further until it reaches the upper echelons of Catholic publishing (Catholic Book Publishing Company, OCP, GIA, etc).
Some great snippets from Dr. Kwasniewski’s article (emphases mine):
When one is just starting up a TLM apostolate, the budget is usually tight and what matters is having an affordable set of altar cards available for Mass. As time goes on, however, and especially in the context of a stable community, a dedicated parish or a religious house, we may want to give serious thought to how we might augment the beauty of the furnishings of the altar and the sanctuary, and even, if possible, use the occasion for offering patronage to a promising Catholic artist. The fine arts will never take off again in the Church if we who claim to love beautiful things do not step forward and donate for this specific purpose.
These are no longer mere textual prompts but works of beauty that give glory to God, the Greatest and Best.
It is as if the craftsman said to himself: “These cards have a certain function, but since they are going to be visible throughout, I will make them worth looking at.” It is one more example of the Catholic way of raising up the mundane and making a virtue of necessity.