Ignited by the Holy Spirit

October 15, 2022

“Come Holy Spirit, and ignite our hearts with the fire of your love.”

Art in the context of communal worship turns the minds and hearts of the faithful towards God, helping us come closer in heart and soul to our gracious God.  Visual art can play a part in the Spirit’s role in worship and, according to different traditions, may variably be referred to as “liturgical art,” “worship art,” or “sacred art.”

In Acts 2, the Holy Spirit descends like fire on the people – igniting their faith. How does the Holy Spirit utilize art to ignite our physical senses, our emotions and intellect, so that the whole person is set on fire for Christ? How does art help prepare our hearts to welcome God’s presence? 

CIVA’s LITart symposium intends to foster a spirit of hospitality and appreciation of the myriad of ways in which art molds and is molded by the broad array of Christian visual expressions.

CIVA Member Registration$25 per person (Increases to $50 on October 1)
Non-Member Registration$50 per person (Increases to $75 on October 1)

Not a member? Join today!

CIVA invites our members from diverse disciplines and Christian traditions to submit presentations addressing the role of visual art in worship and liturgy. Practical wisdom, as well as theological analysis, are welcome. 

We encourage presentations representing CIVA’s vocational breadth and depth of visual arts practice, ministry, and academia, including but not limited to: liturgical/worship artists, architects, seminary professors, church art/architecture scholars, priests, pastors, arts pastors, theologians, elders/deacons, church building/design committees. 

How to Apply

Please apply for space by submitting your name, title, an intro presentation of three sample slides, and an abstract of approximately 500 words laying out your presentation concept/ideas by September 8, 2022. A visual presentation is expected. You will need to upload a PowerPoint/keynote/pdf file of three sample slides.

Selected presenters will be notified by September 15, 2022.

Upon Selection

  • Presenters will submit a 50-word bio and headshot, and register for the event by September 22.
  • The registration fee is waived for selected presenters.
  • Presenters will submit their papers no later than October 8.
  • Applicants MUST be a CIVA member to submit an abstract/presentation


All times are in Central Stanard Time. All events take place via Zoom.

  • 9:00 am: Welcome 
  • 9:15 am: The Visual Arts in Church Worship (Ancient to today) by Mons. Timothy Verdon
  • 10:00 am: Discussion
  • 10:15 am: Break
  • 10:30 am: Selected presentation #1
  • 11:00 am: Selected presentation #2
  • 12:00 pm: Break
  • 1:00 pm: Selected presentation #3
  • 1:30 pm: Selected presentation #4
  • 2:00 pm: Selected presentation #5
  • 2:30 pm: Break
  • 3:00 pm: Invited Speakers will present
  • 4:00 pm: “What’s next?” collaborative discussion 
  • 5:00 pm: Conclusion

Not a member? Join today!


Mons. Timothy Verdon is an art historian formed at Yale University (Ph.D. 1975). He has lived in Italy for more than fifty years and since 1994 is a Roman Catholic priest in Florence, where he directs the Diocesan Office of Sacred Art and Church Cultural Heritage and the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo. He is in addition academic director of the Ecumenical Center for Art and Spirituality ‘Mount Tabor’, at Barga (LU).

Author of books and articles on sacred art in Italian and English, he has been a Consultant to the Vatican Commission for Church Cultural Heritage and a Fellow of the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies (Villa I Tatti), and currently teaches in the Florence Program of Stanford University. He writes regularly for the cultural page of the Osservatore Romano and between 2010 – 2015 has curated art exhibitions in Turin, Florence, Seoul, Washington, D.C. and New York.