Experience Prayer around the Cross: the Heart of God throughout Lent at 5:00 p.m. Jazz Vespers (Sundays).

Adapted from liturgist Susan Briehl's masterful rite for Holden Village, this liturgy is crafted for Saint Peter's unique environment and is accented by jazz sets provided by a number of bands and jazz liturgical music by Ike Sturm and Chanda Rule. An icon of the same name was written by Oksana Prokopenko for Saint Peter's, and is on loan with thanks to the artist.

Prokopenko Icon: Heart of God

Bars of highly-reflective gold-colored glass are piled densely in the shape of a cross atop a glass-covered surface swirling with dark and light violet. A glimmering red heart is positioned at the cross' center and is the focus through which Christ's woundedness extends: metal wire is strung over the heart, evoking the crown of thorns placed on Christ's head; red squares at each bar's terminus suggest Christ's punctured hands and feet; three smaller segments, seemingly dripping from the heart itself, mark the blood gushing from Christ's pierced side.
During the Prayer around the Cross liturgy, Prokopenko's icon, Heart of God, sits at the center of a devotional cross positioned on the floor of Saint Peter's spacious sanctuary. The cross is fashioned from modular sand-filled candle votives designed by Vignelli Associates.

At the close of the liturgy, persons gathered in prayer are invited to approach the tableau and placed a lighted candle in the cross itself. An increasing number of candles causes the reflective heart and cross to glow with ever-increasing intensity. Each person's individual prayer—joy and sorrow, thanksgiving and petition—brings the heart of God into ever greater and more brilliant presence at the center of the cross.

About Oksana Prokopenko

Oksana Prokopenko is a Ukrainian born artist now living and working in and around New York City. She received university education in the United States, at NYU, and the Ukraine, at the Kiev Mohyla Academy. She creates oil paintings as well as micro-mosaics from tiny pieces of glass.
Prokopenko is a rarity in today’s contemporary art scene.

Her work process is similar to artists that worked hundreds of years before her with an intense focus on precision, quality and detail. Often described as a colorist, her colors inspire the viewer to spiritual and emotional heights similar to those felt by Prokopenko during her creative process, which has been described as a spiritual practice—a colorist's communion with the divine.