This week I partook in a popular new trend: coloring for adults. I had seen this at art therapy displays at fairs, bookstores and big box stores–coloring books made for kid in you. So this week when I sat my eight-year-old and six-year-old daughters at the dining room table to work on their homework, I sat with them, a box of colored pencils and my brand new coloring book– Words of Faith, part of the Words of Faith: Color and Sound Set from Paraclete Press.
The coloring book is comprised of hand-drawn designs created by the monastics of the Community of Jesus. The left-hand pages have a word with a Bible verse, the right-hand pages have a letter design corresponding to the word and passage. The large letters surrounded by ornate designs reminded me of illustrated medieval manuscripts.
Because it was the third week of Advent, I turned to ‘Joy,’ and began to color the letter “J” a cheerful yellow reserving my deep greens-and blues, my fiery orange and red for the ornate outer rim. As I colored I kept glancing back at the brief scripture, “May the God of hope fill you with joy and peace” Romans 15:13a. This is a passage I have reflected on some in my devotional reading for the week, so the coloring became a chance for me to meditatively enter a space of prayer. A colorful lectio Divina
But this is just one part of the Words of Faith: Color and Sound Set. Providing the soundtrack for my coloring session was a CD recording from Gloriæ Dei Cantores, His Love Endures Forever: Pslams of Thankfulness and Praise. Twenty psalms of praise were set to Anglican Chant and recorded at The Church of the Transfiguration in Orleans, MA under the direction of Elizabeth Patterson. Beautiful, meditative melodies certainly enhance the overall experience. The CD also has extensive linear notes so you could listen more actively (instead of using it as background music).
I really like both elements to the Color and Sound set. I have a ten-months-old who we lull to sleep with sacred song-Taize, hymns and psalms. The music is calming, the lyrics from psalms, and the arrangements beautiful. The coloring book is both fun and relaxing as well as meditative. When I tucked my six-year old in that evening, she said, “Daddy you are a good artist like me. I mean your coloring.” That adds to me delight. I give this a joyful five stars.
Note: I received this coloring book set from Paraclete Press in exchange for my honest review.