Lace: the Forgotten Ecclesiastical Craft?

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Lace: The Forgotten Ecclesiastical Craft?

Lace: the Forgotten Ecclesiastical Craft?: Is Church lace an often forgotten and neglected aspect of Ecclesiastical Sewing?  It is hard to tell.  One sees new works of church lace on occasion. But they seem to be few and far between.

Lace can be a touchy topic when it comes to Ecclesiastical Sewing. Some of the experts square their shoulders, lift their chins, and proclaim on the mighty printed page, “Lace should never be used in the church.”

Our response is to timidly lift an eyebrow in wonder  and ask, “Why?”

Why are there such vehement reactions to the word Lace when it comes to Church Embroidery? The opinions are strong both for and against the use of lace. While we ponder the question of whether lace should be used in the church, I will leave you with a lovely piece of antique church lace to enjoy for your viewing pleasure.

There are many types of lace used in the church, and we are not ready to dive into the topic today, but I hope you enjoy this little treasure as I finally return home after two weeks of travel.

Solo Dei Gloria

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Agnus Dei Neglected but not Forgotten

Altar Fair Linen with Lace Edge Trim

Forgotten Altars? Take Another Look!


  1. Interesting you should bring this up. I was visiting a church over the weekend, St. Monica’s in Cantonment, Florida. They have a beautiful modern building, with a small, spare wooden table used as an altar. Usually lace tends to be found in older, Victorian style buildings, and I was surprised to see that their fair cloth had a very deep lace border, perhaps about 10 to 12 inches deep! I was also surprised by how appropriate the light, airy lace looked in that modern setting. The priest also wears an alb with deep lace insets, in part because the lace helps keep him cooler in this warm climate! Perhaps we are wrong to shy away from using lace.

    • That might be a good idea to use more lace to lighten things up for warm climates. There are many lace inserts and fabrics available today that would aid clergy with this.