Chalice Veil Design from Althea Wiel

Home » Chalice Veil Design from Althea Wiel


Chalice Veil Design from Althea Wiel

Chalice Veil Design from Althea Wiel:

The use of symbolism in Ecclesiastical Embroidery Designs has a long and rich history. It goes back to the first books of the Bible and the instructions given to Moses and Aaron about the making of Priestly Clothing.  The skill of a good designer shines forth when they can incorporate meaningful symbols within a beautiful design.  A little while ago, I wrote about Alethea Wiel, a skilled Ecclesiastical Artisan, and Designer here is. Weekend Reading and Musing  and New Books New Information


Stepping back in time 120 years ago to the year 1894, the author, in the introduction to her book “Designs for Church Embroidery”  states she never intended to publish her work. She felt it was incomplete and merely a suggestion of outlines and hints for church embroidery. It was only upon the advice of friends that she decided to publish her work for Church Embroidery.  A publication of the day said of her work,.”There were some really very fine original embroidery designs lent by A.R….”

Chalice Veil Design

Chalice Veil Ecclesiastical Embroidery Design
Ecclesiastical Embroidery Design for Chalice Veil

The Chalice in design is standing on seven rocks which represent the Seven Sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Penance, Extreme Unction, Holy Orders, and Matrimony. If one looks closely, then one will see the Nativity is engraved on the Chalice.  Christ appears to be rising from the Chalice as the Blessed Sacrament. Angels with incense adorn either side of Christ, are Luke and John and their emblems under a canopy of vines, leaves, and grapes.

Opposite Side of Wiel Chalice Veil Design
Opposite Side of Wiel Chalice Veil Design

Now, turning the design around, two angels represent the Crucifixion. turning away from Christ and trying with their wings to screen His suffering from their sight. Matthew and Mark are in these corners with their emblems. The vine is the emblem of Christ.


The designer skillfully employed great skill, knowledge, and attention to detail when creating this work of art. The piece balances beautifully, directing the viewer’s gaze with flow and movement to different parts of the Ecclesiastical Embroidery Design. It’s important to remember how this flat, two-dimensional piece would be intended for viewing: draped over the Chalice. The concept of using two distinct images of Christ to be alternated based on the season of the Church Year is brilliant.

This would be a stunning piece to see embroidered!

Solo Dei Gloria

Be sure to visit our online store front Ecclesiastical Sewing where you may shop for Liturgical Fabrics, altar linen fabrics, church vestment-making patterns, liturgical machine embroidery designschurch vestment trims and notions and so much more. You may also find us on  Ecclesiastical Sewing on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Sign up for our mailing list at the bottom of the page on our online store front and receive a free copy of our Small Linens Booklet as our way of saying thank you for following along.

Passion Cross on Ash Wednesday Chalice Veil

Making a Chalice Veil Part II: Good Friday Chalice Veil

Chalice Veil Orphrey Trim Part 2

Rose Chalice Veil Construction