Have you seen the new green “paraments” in the church? Do you know they are the result of prayer, Bible study and collaborate work by LCOR’s Liturgical Arts Team? And just like the stained-glass windows, the furnishings and other decorations in our church, there’s a story behind these beautiful new banners and altar clothes.
About 6 months ago, the Liturgical Arts Team met to consider a design for new paraments for the long summer green season of the church year. (It’s nearly 26 weeks long!) We began looking at the various Bible stories and passages chosen for the summer worship services. We quickly discovered that a main emphasis of the season was spiritual growth, especially in the fourth chapter of Mark. In this chapter Jesus compares the faith and discipleship in terms of seeds growing in different soils, as seeds growing mysteriously into a great harvest, and as tiny mustard seeds growing into great bushes. This discovery launched us into looking deeper into other Bible passages which speaks of growing faith in terms of trees, seeds, and plants. We settled upon three verses to help us envision our design:
Mark 4: 31-32 “(The Kingdom of God) is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”
Psalm 1:3 (Discipleship) “They (Followers of God) are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither.”
Revelation 22:1-2 (Tree of Life) “Then the angel showed me that river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve.
These passages, plus a lot of conversations led to the design of the banners behind the Altar as well as both the Altar and Lectern (Reading Stand) frontal cloths.
Explanation of the Story of Faith
The banners depict our faith which begins very small and grows large enough for birds to roost in its branches. The bottom of the tree merges into the Altar frontal where the roots grow deep into the living and refreshing living water and grace that flow from the throne of God and Jesus, the Lamb. From there the living water flows over to the Lectern where God’s Word is read each week to remind us that we are to be like a tree planted in the flow the Holy Spirit so we might bear lots of spiritual fruit.
The Liturgical Arts Team is thankful for this opportunity to share what God has planted in our hearts as we strive to use art, color, fabrics, hangings, and decorations to enhance a sense of the sacred in our worship space. We truly appreciate your support and encouragement!