What is the theological significance of the sunburst in Catholic Worship


#1

Simple question why is the sunburst such a common part of Catholic Worship, mainly in adoration. a Sunburst monstrance is a very common and widely used monstrance. Also I have seen some pictures of crosses with sunbursts behind it. What is the significance of this.

if you want me to I can post pictures but I have a feeling everyone knows what a sun burst is.

I don't want to discuss this in this thread but some fundamentalist and atheist argue this makes pagan.

I just want a theological understanding of why the sunburst is so widely used in Catholic Art.


#2

Read Malachi 4:2, Matthew 17:2, Revelation 1:16, 21:22, 22:5. I'm sure there are other Biblical references, but this is what I found on a quick search.

Hope you are having a blessed Christmas!


#3

I suppose that the monstrance, which holds the Sacred Host, is in the shape of the sunburst as a symbolic represention of Christ being the light of the world. See John 8: 12


#4

It's not a sunburst anymore than pictures of Saints have sunbursts on top of their heads.

newadvent.org/cathen/11080b.htm


#5

[quote="catholictiger, post:1, topic:309379"]
Simple question why is the sunburst such a common part of Catholic Worship, mainly in adoration. a Sunburst monstrance is a very common and widely used monstrance. Also I have seen some pictures of crosses with sunbursts behind it. What is the significance of this.

if you want me to I can post pictures but I have a feeling everyone knows what a sun burst is.

I don't want to discuss this in this thread but some fundamentalist and atheist argue this makes pagan.

I just want a theological understanding of why the sunburst is so widely used in Catholic Art.

[/quote]

"God from God, Light from Light"

Lk 1:76-79

And you, child, will be called prophet of the Most High,
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
to give his people knowledge of salvation
through the forgiveness of their sins,
because of the tender mercy of our Gods
by which the daybreak from on high will visit us
to shine on those who sit in darkness and death’s shadow,
to guide our feet into the path of peace.”

Mt 4: 15-16

“Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali,
the way to the sea, beyond the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles,
the people who sit in darkness
have seen a great light,
on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death
light has arisen.”

Luke 2:29-32

“Now, Master, you may let your servant go
in peace, according to your word,
for my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you prepared in sight of all the peoples,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and glory for your people Israel.”

John 1:1-5

In the beginning* was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

He was in the beginning with God. * All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be.

What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

It's not specifically a "sunburst," just the only way to represent light in three-dimensional form. In paintings you can paint a glow or relative brightness. But any light, candlelight, lightbulbs, whatever, often appears as rays and even in two-dimensional works of art, the rays are often used.

The last bolded part is why it's so often part of a monstrance. "We preach Christ crucified." Death has not overcome our Lord; He lives and is present now.


#6

=catholictiger;10170765]simple question why is the sunburst such a common part of catholic worship, mainly in adoration. A sunburst monstrance is a very common and widely used monstrance. Also i have seen some pictures of crosses with sunbursts behind it. What is the significance of this.

If you want me to i can post pictures but i have a feeling everyone knows what a sun burst is.

I don't want to discuss this in this thread but some fundamentalist and atheist argue this makes pagan.

I just want a theological understanding of why the sunburst is so widely used in catholic art.

sunburst = grace and it's presence:d


#7

thanks everyone for the responses so far. Your answers confirmed what I though it would mean. I thought it would be along the lines of the rays of glory that are behind Jesus in heaven. The same thing the apostles may have seen when Jesus ascended into heaven.


#8

It has a practical use also, for the same reason that most traffic and railroad signals are framed by a flat metal plate. It makes them more visible against the background. A monstrance with a kind of shield surrounding the Host (most are a round "sunburst" but some are shaped like churches or crosses) makes the Body of Christ more visible to worshipers.


#9

[quote="Julia_Mae, post:5, topic:309379"]
It's not specifically a "sunburst," just the only way to represent light in three-dimensional form

[/quote]

If the imagery wasn't so purposely in the image of a sunburst, then why is the insert which holds the Consecrated Host called a 'luna'? That would be an unusual name if the monstrance wasn't meant to be a sunburst image.


#10

[quote="Cavaille-Coll, post:8, topic:309379"]
It has a practical use also, for the same reason that most traffic and railroad signals are framed by a flat metal plate. It makes them more visible against the background. A monstrance with a kind of shield surrounding the Host (most are a round "sunburst" but some are shaped like churches or crosses) makes the Body of Christ more visible to worshipers.

[/quote]

no disrespect but I don't care to much about the practical reasons, this is a very good reason to have a sun burst monstrance but if there isn't a good theological reason the practical reason means nothing.

God bless.


#11

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