After a weekend of cleaning the workroom, it is time to get a few Ecclesiastical Vestment Projects underway. The celebration of Ascension is about a week away, and Pentecost is less than three weeks away. So what Church Vestment Projects are in the works?
The answer is as simple as the projects: stoles. To be more specific, Red Stoles. Although our church is in dire need of having the red altar frontal and other vestments replaced, work commitments have not allowed enough time to launch into a new Pentecost Vestment Set Project. And of course, there is the ongoing issue of budget and funding. During this time of transition at our church with a vacancy pastor, it seems best to wait for another year before taking on a new Pentecost Vestment Set.
But in the mean time, there are a few immediate needs. Our church does not own a proper set of stoles. The vacancy Pastor does not own his own stoles. The good Lutheran question comes to mind: “What does this mean?” A red stole is needed for Pentecost! (Not to mention stoles for all of the other colors and seasons of the church year). Red is the traditional color for use during the celebration of Pentecost, which comes fifty days after Easter, and 10 days after the Ascension of Christ.
The meaning of the liturgical color red is described below:
Red is a power color and is appropriate for use on Pentecost Sunday. On this day we remember the power and fire of “the Lord and Giver of Life,” who revealed himself as the promised one. The color red communicates the motif of strength-strength and power the Holy Spirit gives in order for God’s people to call on the name of Jesus Christ and share that powerful name with others.
Red is a compelling festival color! Thankfully, I am seeing a wealth of red in a variety of patterns and colors, and it makes the sewing workroom festive with sparkling gold, along with solid red silks, and all of the accompanying trim options for embellishment.
The color Red is used on other occasions within the Church, besides Pentecost. Red is the color used for the stole worn by a Pastor within the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod for Celebrations such as ordinations as noted under the Red tab on the Church Year Liturgical Colors Guide:
Additional uses of red are Reformation Sunday; Holy Cross Day (Sept. 14); on such festive occasions as dedications, anniversaries of a congregation and its physical structure; festive days celebrating the office of the public ministry, such as ordination and installation.
Red has additional uses within the church for the celebration of the Feast of the Martyrs, and within some churches, Palm Sunday is marked by using the color Red. There is often a noted difference in the color of Reds for use on the differing occasions. Pentecost Red is a bright, vivid RED, while the Red used for Palm Sunday and the Feast of the Martyrs is more of a Scarlet or Blood Red. Many smaller churches make do with one set of Red vestments, while larger churches may have Red Vestment Sets in differing colors appropriate for the Seasons of Pentecost or the Feast of Martyrs.
A Red stole would make a wonderful gift for a new Seminary graduate as they prepare for ordination and installation, too.
There are plans for at least two red stoles that need to be completed within a week, and if time allows, three. One stole is for Pentecost, the other one or two stoles are intended for an Installation Service. Both will be in a vivid Pentecost Red. I will keep you posted on how they progress.
With any luck, tomorrow evening, the Pentecost Stole Projects begin!
Solo Dei Gloria
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