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Category: Liturgical Vestments and Altar Hangings

Liturgical vestments and altar hangings play a vital role in Christian religious services. Enhancing the worship experience with an extra layer of meaning and symbolism. Priests and pastors commonly wear liturgical garments such as the chasuble and the Alb during Mass celebrations. With the chasuble covering the body and often featuring ornate designs and symbols. And the Alb, a long white robe, worn by priests. Another liturgical vestment, the stole, a long, narrow scarf-like garment worn around the neck. Usually decorated with symbols representing the liturgical season or occasion.

On the other hand, altar hangings, and decorative textiles adorning the front of the altar, add beauty and meaning to the worship ceremony. They can be changed according to the liturgical season, with common types including frontals, superfrontals, and lectern hangings.

Liturgical vestments and altar hangings have a rich tradition and symbolism. Connecting worshipers with the history and traditions of the Church. Each vestment and style carries unique meaning and significance. Ecclesiastical Sewing addresses the liturgical needs of churches and religious organizations. Offering a diverse range of quality vestments and church hanging patterns, from traditional chasubles to functional superfrontals. We always have the perfect item for your liturgical preference.

Books from past Exhibits at the Museum of the Visitation

Books from Musée de la Visitation

Visiting the Photo Galleries available on the Museum website offers a glimpse at many beautiful pieces of Ecclesiastical Embroider and Ecclesiastical Sewing. The orphrey on the cope in the above photo has some wonderful figure embroidery.  The top figures are Mary (Mater Dei) and Joseph. St. Francis is on the lower right, but the watermark blocks the name of the final figure.  The work is a very beautiful example of figure embroidery.

Rose Vestments for Laetare and Gaudete Sunday

Laetare Sunday or Rose Vestments

Using Rose Vestments during Advent and Lent varies among differing church bodies.  The New Liturgical Movement has some information on the historical use of Rose Vestments within the Catholic Church.  The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod’s view on Rose Vestments is slightly different. If a Rose Vestment Set is desired or planned for your church, be sure to check with your pastor or bishop concerning appropriate use and guidelines for liturgical colors.

Black Vestments used for Ash Wednesday and Good Friday at Prince of Peace

Planning – First Steps for Altar Frontal

For this altar frontal, the plan is to use two 7″ orphrey bands on either side of the center front. There will be a solid space of white that will be about 9″ wide left between the orphrey bands. This band or space that was left would be adorned with a host of hand-embroidery designs.  The project will have to be content with plain bands of white between the rows of orphreys.

IHC Ecclesiastical Embroidery Pattern

Whitework Ecclesiastical Embroidery Pattern

Merge three vintage Ecclesiastical Embroidery Designs into a versatile artwork. The simple lines make it ideal for whitework, but it seamlessly transitions for gold and silk Ecclesiastical Embroidery. For whitework, consider stitches like stem stitch, outline stitch, and padded satin stitch for letters. Alternatively, use outline stitch with seed stitch fill. Chainstitch is another excellent choice for whitework in Ecclesiastical Embroidery.

Linen Ornaments of the Church by Percy Dearmer

Back ground on Fair Linens

Fair linens, the top linen placed on the altar, are crucial liturgical items. According to Percy Dearmer, a renowned liturgical furnishing author, fair linens should be the exact width of the altar and extend within six inches from the ground on the sides. The linen should be good quality, hemmed, and bear one, four, or five devices in white, red, or blue. Modern recommendations suggest the fair linen’s length should match the superfrontal’s, often 9 to 12 inches. Working with 100% linen, mitering corners, and adding crosses can create a durable, elegant fair linen for the altar.

Framing and Tracing Altar Frontal Star

Advent Star Altar Frontal

In preparation for the New Church Year, Ecclesiastical Sewing create a temporary Advent Star Altar Frontal set with a central motif surrounded by smaller stars. Using a piece-and-fuse technique, the lightweight linen is framed with Blue Silk Dupioni. The design, outlined with Silver Metallic Threads, includes an Altar Frontal, superfrontal, Pulpit Fall, and chalice veil.

Church Hand Embroidery Pattern for Advent, Advent Altar Hanging and Pulpit Fall Ideas

Advent Altar Hanging and Pulpit Fall Ideas

Ecclesiastical Sewing takes a break from finishing the Monk’s Habit to brainstorm Advent Altar Hanging and Pulpit Fall Ideas. Current hangings are deemed unsatisfactory, prompting a plan for an interim Advent Set using machine embroidery on Silk Dupioni fabric. The proposed design includes stars, Alpha and Omega, and Chi-Rho symbols. Time constraints pose a challenge, but the aim is to complete the project using a beautiful blue Silk Dupioni fabric and possibly incorporating Silver Elizabethan Twist thread for added shimmer.

Vestments From Around the World

Ecclesiastical Sewing, a traditional craft, provides a glimpse into history and tradition. Exploring vestments worldwide on platforms like Pinterest reveals beautiful hand-embroidered pieces from countries like Russia and Ukraine. A document by the Metropolitan Museum of Art explains the differences between Orthodox and Western Church vestments, showcasing the Russian Phelonion. The ornate vestments from 1802 to 1877 feature luxurious materials, gold, silver, bells, and unique garment labels, offering insight into the rich history of ecclesiastical textiles.

Summer Travels and Unexpected Surprises!

Summer travels brought unexpected surprises for the Ecclesiastical Sewing family in Montana. A visit to the Ursuline Center revealed a hidden treasure—a Sister’s art studio in the tower, showcasing two hand-painted Ecclesiastical Banners. One banner displayed signs of age with faded beauty, intricate details, and gold bullion fringe. The banners’ origin and age are unknown, making them even more intriguing.

Ecclesiastical Designs

The Never-Ending Quest for Ecclesiastical Designs

Creating various designs for Church Vestments remained a challenge. The Agnus Dei symbol aided in creating the pulpit fall, while inspiration from stained glass guided the design of the Altar Frontal. The quest for better designs spanned years, incorporating research, internet searches, and volunteer work. Gradually, more refined designs came to light.

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