Rev Ric Holland – The Ebullient Energy of Celebrated Light

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Notes on the Sunday address, 12 July 2015.
By John Abbate.

Coventry Choir, Altar, Organ and Tapestry

The human retina contains several million photoreceptor cells that are sensitive to a specific range of frequencies of electromagnetic radiation, otherwise known as the light spectrum. Sandwiched between the infrared and the ultraviolet, at wavelengths of around 390 to 700 nanometres, visible light makes up a very thin slice of the total electromagnetic spectrum. From this small band of radiation emerges the entire universe of colour and illumination.

The eye plays just one part in the human experience of vision. Much of the job is carried out by the brain, making perception a very subjective thing.

Rev Ric Holland tells the story of his youngest son, Wesley, who lost much of his colour perception after a playground accident in which he hit his head. It was a couple of years later during a family visit to Coventry Cathedral that his colours returned. The worried parents had lost their child; after a brief search they found him staring up, transfixed, at the great tapestry of “Christ in Glory” by Graham Sutherland (the largest tapestry in the world at 23m x 11m). “He was overwhelmed by the panoply of colour, and at that moment his colours returned. Its beauty had completely overwhelmed his brain…and somehow, had flicked a switch.”

A completed tapestry is the coming together of multiple threads, multiple colours, into a coherent whole. There are unexpected moments in life when all of the threads seem to come together; they are special moments that “burst into something which is phenomenal.”

Through humour, story and anecdote, guest speaker Rev. Ric Holland this week delivered a hopeful message to the congregation at St Michael’s. There are special moments in life that teach us this lesson:

“Expect the unexpected. Believe the impossible.”

Watch Rev Ric Holland’s address for more tales of hope, inspiration, and colour. 

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