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An iconic MU calendar

by Michael Ford last modified 18 Dec, 2019 04:43 PM

A Mothers' Union Advent Calendar has been developed for the South Aisle in Sherborne Abbey, with a style all its own.

An iconic MU calendar

Photo by Jenny Nelson

MU Volunteer Elizabeth Prichard has used a combination of icons and old masters to produce a visual feast.

Throughout the year, the MU board has displays with annotated pictures for various themes from the Christian calendar, as well as topical issues from the work of the Mothers’ Union.

For Advent 2019, the board displays an Advent calendar with 25 numbered cards, each with a hidden picture on the reverse side. Visitors to the Abbey are invited to ‘open’ the card for the appropriate day, revealing a picture of an ‘Old Masterpiece’ telling part of the Christmas Story.

An iconic MU calendar- detail- photo by Jenny Nelson

Photo by Jenny Nelson

Elizabeth says humbly, "All I'm really doing is highlighting a theme of the moment, such as homelessness - and to highlight what MU does.

"I've been doing it for 6 years."

Each day throughout Advent, the cards are left open so that by Christmas Day all 25 Masterpieces are revealed, showing how a variety of artists have interpreted the Christmas story over the last 2,000 years.

The pictures are grouped into six categories:

‘Mary and the Angel’ – 1-4 December
(eg 4 Dec is 'The Annunciation' by Duccio, 1311)

‘To Bethlehem’ – 5-8 December
(eg 7 Dec is 'The Census in Bethlehem' by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, 1566)

‘Jesus is born’ – 9-13 December
(eg 12 Dec is 'The Nativity' by Arthur Hughes, 1858)

‘The Shepherds’ – 14-18 December
(eg 17 Dec is 'The Adoration of the Shepherds' by Guido Reni, 1640)

‘The Star in the East’ – 19-21 December
(eg 21 Dec is 'Three Magi' from a mosaic in a church in Ravenna, about 560)

‘The Three Kings’ – 22-25 December
(eg 23 Dec is 'The Adoration of the Kings' by Edward Burne-Jones and William Morris, 1879)

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