Funeral Reflection

Altered book page with selected words from original text left visible.
Mauve and sea foam green acrylic glaze sponge painted in layers.
After a super hectic week for preparation for two funerals back-to-back (attending the 1st and leading worship for the 2nd), I need to carve out time for theological reflection on the death of two persons very dear to me. I used an already prepared page in my art journal which had the words exposed "Forgiveness of Sins," God freely forgives sin for Jesus' sake," and "death is not the end." I brought my mini journal to the service where I was attending as part of the congregation. I made it a point to listen particularly attentively to the readings from the Old and New Testament, and jotten down key words and phrases as I listened. I also made rough sketches of some of the imagery that came to mind during the readings and also made simple drawings of symbols in the church sanctuary.
During my reflection the day following the 2nd funeral I re-read my quick journal jottings and chose phrases which most expressed my belief about God, faith in Jesus Christ, and the resurrection of the dead. I also chose the stained glass cross which is at the front of the sanctuary as one of two key symbols to incorporate in my art reflection. I also included a small labyrinth and then wrote phrases from the scripture readings as my prayer.
During the process of carving the theological word "resurrection" out of an eraser to use as an embellishment I thought about what I believe about life after death: resurrection. That brought to mind  "hope" and the affirmation that death is not the end. I wrote in crayon a phrase from one of the songs that had been sung at the funeral: "Lord we lift your name on high," and then I toned down the color by sponge painting with the same colors from underneath. I embellished the page with carved stamps from wine cords: "GRACE" and "HOLY." I stamped a row of candles cut from wine corks along the bottom of the page to signify Christ as the light of the world. The "ink" for the stamps" is acrylic paint. Squeeze a bit on a paper plate, spread it with a cotton swab to the widtch of the stamp, and use it like a conventional stamping pad. [TIP: Hold the used stamp under running water and use a toothbrush to gently remove paint between the letters.]
The cross is scribbles of crayon in the colors of the stained glass at the church, and I topped it with pearl acrylic glaze stippled on with a fluffy brush. I wanted to tone down the glare of the color and also give it a shine as the cross were illuminated.