Edward Riojas Artwork Collection
Edward Riojas Artwork Collection
Guest post by Edward Riojas
Edward Riojas has been creating artwork professionally for 40 years. He received a fine art degree, then worked a three-year stint in advertising before spending nearly 31 years in the newspaper industry. Riojas now works exclusively in the sacred realm, while drawing on his origins in the fine arts. Edward Riojas Artwork Collection – his work is found in sanctuaries, institutions, private collections, and markets throughout the U.S. and across the globe. And we are pleased that Edward’s beautiful artwork is the foundation of the liturgical designs for many of the church vestment collections found on our Ecclesiastical Sewing website.
The Office of the Holy Ministry is a gargantuan blessing to us poor, miserable sinners. When given an opportunity to do it right by our pastors, we should splurge. That was the impetus behind the designs of an Ordination certificate and its close cousin, an Ordination Anniversary certificate.
While I took cues from some of Cranach’s book title pages, the entire design is original and is meant to edify. On the certificate, a pastoral stole displays symbols of the sacraments of Holy Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, along with a traditional nape cross, emblazoned in this case with the VDMA abbreviation which means “The Word of the Lord Endures Forever.” The stole is draped over a Shepherd’s cross composed of intersecting rod and staff – symbolizing the blessings of pastoral correction and guidance. Crossed keys symbolize the Office of the Keys, which is entrusted to called and ordained Ministers. A vignette of Christ in the role of the Sower adorns upper portions of the document. Luther’s Seal, the VDMA cross, and a space for a church seal run along the bottom. The whole background of stylized floral embellishment is actually a single, rich growth that originates from Holy Scripture, which, in turn, is underscored with three bookmarks as being Divinely inspired.
Some may argue that the certificate is too ornate or opulent. Others may argue that it looks too “catholic.” I will take both charges as high compliments. It is, however, a relatively simple gesture in honoring the Office of the Holy Ministry. For too long the Church has languished in 1960’s ugliness, and not even certificates escaped unscathed. Mod-squad motifs of sweeping lines and spare detail now only smack of embarrassing cuffed, bell-bottoms, polyester disco shirts, and ill-conceived perms for men. If we are to celebrate the Church as the Bride of Christ, then it’s time we put aside notions of showing up at the wedding wearing a marmish, plaid housecoat, and underscore instead the beauty and opulence and richness of all that the Lord sees through eyes of Redeeming Love. ~ Edward
The lovely Ordination and Ordination Anniversary Certificates are available through our online website. The certificates may be personalized with details such as ordination date, seminary, and other information. The certificates make a wonderful gift for those newly ordained to the office of the Holy Ministry, as well as those marking a special anniversary of their ordination. (Ten years, 25 years, 30 years, 4o years, and even 50 years or more!) Looking for something a bit different?
Check out the fine artwork prints by Edward Riojas here.
You may also enjoy some of our Home Decor gifts located here.
Soli Deo Gloria
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