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Catholic Activity: Triptych

    Supplies

  • three equal panels of cardboard
  • gummed tape
  • poster paints
  • religious pictures to cut out
  • Construction paper
  • finger paints
  • scissors
  • glue
  • Prep Time

  • N/A
  • Difficulty

  • • •
  • Cost

  • $$ $ $
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A homemade triptych, decorated with Easter symbols, can serve as a background for your prayer altar.

DIRECTIONS

Large paneled triptychs using three pictures or three symbols of paschaltide make prayerful backgrounds for the home altar or the dining room buffet. Triptychs are made of three equal panels of cardboard which are connected together with gummed tape so that the panels will fold. For instance, a triptych may be made using three symbols for the following feasts:

Ascension CrownPentecost DoveTrinity Triangle
A similar triptych, using pictures, might include
ResurrectionAscensionPentecost
A triptych showing scenes:
Easter The ResurrectionAscension Christ in GloryPentecost The Cenacle
A triptych showing three saints:
St. Isidore St. Joseph Blessed Mother
Old religious calendars, Bible and Liturgy Sunday bulletins and Catholic magazine covers are an excellent source of material for this project. Young children enjoy decorating triptychs with finger paints or cutting symbols already drawn on construction paper. A set of such symbols is given below.

SYMBOLISM

EASTER: A circle or ring speaks of eternity in that it has no beginning and no end. It is the monogram of God, representing His perfection. Color: white.

ASCENSION: The crown stands for the victory of Christ. Color: gold.

PENTECOST: The dove is the symbol of the Holy Spirit. Its symbolism first appears in the baptism of Jesus. "I saw the spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon Him" (John 1:32). Color: red.

TRINITY: The equilateral triangle represents the eternal, equal and indivisible Trinity. Three equal circles in triangle form are the monogram of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Color: white.

SYMBOLISM

EASTER. A circle or ring speaks of eternity in that it has no beginning and no end. It is the monogram of God, representing His perfection. Color: white.

ASCENSION. The crown stands for the victory of Christ. Color: gold.

PENTECOST. The dove is the symbol of the Holy Spirit. Its symbolism first appears in the baptism of Jesus. "I saw the spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon Him" (John 1:32). Color: red.

TRINITY. The equilateral triangle represents the eternal, equal and indivisible Trinity. Three equal circles in triangle form are the monogram of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Color: white.

Activity Source: Family Customs: Easter to Pentecost by Helen McLoughlin, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minnesota, 1956

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