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Tag: Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday holds great significance for Christians worldwide as it marks the beginning of the Lenten season in the Christian Church. On this day, people attend church service to receive ashes on their foreheads in the shape of a cross as it represents mortality and repentance often along with a small blessing: “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return”. Genesis 3:19 NIV.

This day serves as a reminder of the significance of the Lenten season and encourages individuals to seek repentance and renewal. As we observe this tradition, let us remember to walk towards living a life of kindness, humility, love, and obedience to God.

Scarlet Gothic Chasuble Pelican Design | Lent Holy Week Gothic Chasuble Ecclesiastical Sewing

Pelican as a Symbol of Christianity

The church symbol of the pelican was first used in the British 12th century as the bird was believed to be a perfect example of the great sacrifice that our Lord made for us. It awakens the spirit of charity towards others and reminds us of the generosity of our Lord, the great redeemer. Therefore, the image of the pelican is a strong reminder that ties us to our faith and a universal symbol that joins the Christian community together.

Saint Ignatius of Antioch Chasuble

Laetare Sunday in Lent

The word Laetare means “rejoice” in the Latin text of the word. Laetare was ultimately decided to be the name for this Sunday of rejoicing and celebration from the Latin text of the scripture verses found in the 66th chapter of the book of Isaiah.
The six-week season of Lent is overall a time of solemn and somber fasting spent in penance and preparation for the coming of Easter Sunday.

Symbols of Lent: Penitence to Hope

What are the symbols of Lent: Penitence to hope?
Ashes are probably one of the more recognizable symbols of Lent.
Churches that observe this, use purple vestments during Lent season.
Pretzels a Lenten treat that fits the dietary restrictions while reminding us to pray.
Fish on Friday and giving money during Lent.
What other symbols do you commonly see during this time of year in your church or in churches you have visited?

Why we use purple for Lent image

Why do we use purple during Lent?

Purple in Lent symbolizes the royalty of Christ, His sacrificial death, and the season’s connection to Passover. The color, historically associated with royalty, was used mockingly on Jesus during His passion, emphasizing His royal dignity. Additionally, purple signifies the sorrowful nature of sins and the sacrifice made for redemption. Linguistically, “Lent” means “lengthen,” indicating its timing as days lengthen with the approach of spring and the season to observe Lent.

Lent Cross Digital Embroidery Design

Thoughts of Lent

Lent is a penitential season and a time of reflection. Lent has always been a favorite season of the church year. Throughout the years – the rich tapestry of hymns reserved specifically for Lent remains vivid, as the scriptures of Christ’s Passion and Lenten hymns were forever twined together in mind. One could begin to imagine the agony Christ suffered as he prayed. Singing the hymn “Go to Dark Gethsemane” in the dim evening light of the church. It was then and still a favorite Lenten Hymn.

Today we feast for tomorrow begins our fast!

Many Christians today overlook historic Church traditions and vestments. Like Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, Lutheran, and Episcopalian have unique practices and materials for their vestments. Despite the beauty of these traditions, many Christians are unaware of them, similar to the limited recognition of events like Fat Tuesday. The appreciation for and celebration of these practices often involve a smaller group within the broader Christian community.

Vestments made by a reader for his church

A Reader’s Labor of Love: Making Liturgical Vestments

David, a dedicated reader, has been creating beautiful liturgical vestments for his priest and parish. He recently shared photos of his work, showcasing an All Souls Day chasuble and stole. The orphrey features silver lamé with two different ribbons topstitched on. David’s creativity is evident in his material choices, and he even incorporated a Dogwood Flower design in the lace of the surplice, paying tribute to North Carolina’s official state flower.

Winchester Roman Purple Brocade

Liturgical Brocades: Fabrics for Making Church Vestments

Liturgical vestments, like stoles and chasubles, need fabric with both drape and firmness to hold their shapes. Fabrics must be carefully chosen for the right weight and body. M. Perkins and Sons, with over a century of experience, create Ecclesiastical Fabrics designed specifically for making church vestments. They prioritize yarn selection, ensuring the correct spin, loft, and thickness to achieve durability and proper form.

A closer look at the large and small Ogee Motifs

Chalice Veil Orphreys

Ecclesiastical Brocatelle fabric for the Ash Wednesday and Good Friday Vestment set has a pattern repeat. But not a tiny, regular pattern repeat.  It is a whopping 17″ pattern repeat. There is a tiny arrow at the point or peak of the gold border which is an Ogee pattern. This fabric also has a pattern repeated on the width which is easily determined by measuring the distance between the two black dots located at the base of the gold frame.

Black Chalice Veil in Fairford with Wakefield in Black/Gold for orphrey trim

Black and Gold Vestments: Making a Chalice Veil

Making the Chalice Veil – a simple item to make is a chalice veil. The dimensions of the chalice veil can vary.  The size used for my church is 24″ square. To keep the project simple, a plain fabric can be selected, But for now lets take a look pattern designs in the Fairford, there are two main motifs: the Pineapple and the Ogee.  The pineapple motif was selected as the central motif on this chalice veil. The two crossed pins mark the center of the pineapple. The pattern design in Fairford makes it easy to match the same motif point to obtain straight and even lines for cutting.

IHS Lenten Design for Hand Embroidery

IHS Lenten Hand Embroidery Design

The IHS Lenten Design, taken from a detailed border pattern, offers versatility. The stylized floral elements converted into letters make an interesting stand-alone element. It can be stitched with subdued threads for Lent or with goldwork threads and silk floss for a shimmering effect, symbolizing the glory of the Resurrection. With two available sizes, this design is suitable for stoles, linens, pulpit falls, or even an altar frontal.