I grew up in a Catholic home. I went to church every Sunday morning with my parents and although it provided some spiritual background to my life, there were things that made me ponder. Like, why was everyone smoking on the front lawn after mass? And why didn't anyone seem happy?
I felt it was lacking something. We didn't have a piano or organ, or any other instruments played. Just a cantor, who was really good by the way, and the rest of the congregation singing. I didn't connect everything we did with my relationship to God. I needed to know that the Lord cared most about my heart and not about outward sacrifice.
So, now as an adult I go to a church that is much more expressive in worship, and I like that. As an artist, I love to use vintage and antique items in my art. I find that I am particularly drawn to catholic statues, rosaries, and other items with a catholic undertone. I guess in a way, it's comforting.
Even though there were certain things I found to be mundane, Good Friday was something else. At the evening service, the entire congregation would walk around the outside of the church. Each person held a lit candle, and we walked in silence. The only sound was of an alter boy that had these small wood board things that when you raised them, and then lowered them, it was supposed to mimick the sound of the nails going into Jesus's hands. The other sound I remember was the priests incense holder. It was attatched to a chain and it would open and close as he swung it, like a small cymbal sound.
I came across this beautiful shrine of Mary and baby Jesus. I love the gold paint and the angels on the sides. You can see more photos on my vintage shop, http://plainandfancyvintage.etsy.com/
I have to say that the icons, shrines, and other catholic art is something that I find truly beautiful.