Roman Missal Graphics

As part of the preparation for the national edition of the Roman Missal (Third Edition), the Bishops commissioned a set of illustrations that would be unmistakably of Aotearoa New Zealand. The National Liturgy Office prepared a brief then approached Fitzbeck Creative of Wellington to submit a set of draft drawings. After much discussion and many redactions the final illustrations were presented to the Bishops for their approval.

The brief given Fitzbeck Creative required:

  1. that the illustrations be simple;
  2. that the symbols speak of Aotearoa New Zealand;
  3. that their impact be profoundly Catholic.

We asked Fitzbeck Creative to provide three sets of illustrations:

  1. full page illustrations depicting the Church's Liturgical Year
  2. block illustrations of Catholic symbols and people
  3. tukutuku panels in which the our Christian symbols are seen through Maori eyes.

While the concepts that underpin these illustrations are profoundly Christian and arise from the treasury of our Catholic tradition, the "language" that they use is uniquely of this land of ours. We hope that they speak to your heart.

Below is the complete set of illustrations that will be included in the New Zealand edition of the Roman Missal.

Southern Cross

 

 

             

"And you, the stars of the heavens, O bless the Lord" (Daniel 3).

This Cross that hangs in our Southern skies is an iconic symbol of Aotearoa New Zealand. At a glance, it resounds of its people, but also of this land with its mountains and streams; with its forests and ferns; with its birds and fish; with its beasts, wild and tame.

While there are many representations of the Southern Cross, this is a modern interpretation, particular to the Catholic Church in Aotearoa New Zealand. It speaks of us.

This beautiful Cross will adorn the front cover of the New Zealand edition of the Roman Missal.

Southern Cross and Fern

          

"O all you works of the Lord, O bless the Lord. To him be highest glory and praise for ever…

 

And you stars of the heavens, O bless the Lord…

 

And you, all plants of the earth, O bless the Lord…

 

To him be highest glory and praise for ever"
(Daniel 3).

Advent

 

"And you night-time and day, O bless the Lord. And you darkness and light, O bless the Lord. And you lightning and clouds, O bless the Lord. To him be glory and praise  for ever" (Daniel 3).

In this illustration, the four candles of Advent are wreathed in the flowers of the pohutukawa. The flames that dance above are reminiscent of the koru, our symbol of life.

While it is still too early for us to "dance for joy", this beautiful Advent image strikes a chord of anticipation as we prepare our hearts, our homes and our land for the birth of the Christ child.

Christmas

 

   

"And you, sun and moon, O bless the Lord. And you, the stars of the heavens, O bless the Lord…To him be highest glory and praise for ever" (Daniel 3).

Here the traditional nativity elements and biblical figures are set against the backdrop of the stars of the Southern Cross, under the shadow of our mountains, protected by the shade of our trees.

"Silent night, holy night. Shepherds quake at the sight, Glories stream from heaven afar, heavenly choirs sing Alleluia: Christ, the Saviour is born. Christ, the Saviour is born". (Silent Night, verse 3)

Holy Week

 
 

Christ on the way to Jerusalem.

The adulation of Palm Sunday.

The intimacy of the Last Supper.

The agony of the nails and crown of thorns.

The Cross on which he died.

The Wood through which we gain Life.

"Save us Saviour of the world, for by your Cross and Resurrection, you have set us free". (Memorial Acclamation 3).

Easter

 

"Why look among the dead for someone who is alive. He is not here. He has risen!" (Luke 24:5)

The great Feast of Easter - our greatest Feast. Christ's victory over Death.

With the Resurrection, the Cross of Death is now the Wood of our Salvation.

Though the elements of this illustration are deceivingly simple, the images they portray are profound: love, life, truth, forgiveness, healing, justice, mercy, compassion.

"Through him, and with him, and in him, O God, almighty Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honour is yours, for ever and ever. Amen" (Doxology of the Mass).

Pentecost

 
 

"And you, mountains and hills, O bless the Lord. And you, all plants of the earth, O bless the Lord. And you, fountains and springs, O bless the Lord. To him be highest glory and praise for ever." 

The great Feast of Pentecost reminds us that by the coming down of the Holy Spirit, all creation - the mountains and hills; all plants of the earth; fountains and springs; and the sons and daughters of God - echo that wondrous refrain:

"To him be highest glory and praise for ever."

Amen! Amen!

Ordinary Time 

 

"Let us praise the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit: To you be highest glory and praise for ever. May you be blessed, O Lord, in the heavens. To you be glory and praise for ever" (Daniel 3).

We are the Body of Christ, the Church.

Sunday after Sunday, as the disciples of Christ, we gather with him in our midst in order that we can give praise and worship to our God.

Gathering in name of Christ, listening to his Word, giving thanks for all God's blessings, being nourished by Body and Blood of Christ, going forth to live what we proclaim - this is who we are; this is what we do.

The illustration chosen Ordinary Time depicts the community of faith, hearts alive, surrounding the “icthus” symbol of the Christian. The ever-present stars are a constant reminder that we are a people under the Southern skies. The fern and "koru hearts" makes this community undeniably New Zealand. The "icthus" marks us as proudly Christian.