November 1st is a Holy Day that is often looked over by many Protestant churches in their excitement of the Reformation. It may be a smaller holiday compared to Easter or Christmas, but All Saints Day is a universal holiday.
1Webber, F. All Saints. 1927. Church Symbolism. Cleveland: J. H. Jansen, 1927.
Each renowned saint has his or her own symbol in ecclesiastical sewing. A church that is named after a blessed saint can place that saint’s symbol on a piece of ecclesiastical vestment. For a list of saint symbols see the book I have referenced below. All Saints Day, however, is the celebration of all of the Christian saints. During the mass persecutions, saints were martyred and there was no way to keep track of them all and mark each day as their own saint’s day. And so All Saints Day is the day we remember them. We decorate our churches in white, which reminds the feasting eyes of the congregation of the triumph of the saints, washed of their sins and made as white as snow by the all availing sacrifice of Christ Our Saviour. Appropriate symbols to embroidery would be a sheaf of wheat, a Manus Dei (shown above), or a crown, all wonderful ideas.
Be sure to know your church’s stance on this holiday. What I mean is that some churches believe that All Saints is in celebration of the Christians who have gone to heaven before us. While others believe that All Saints is in celebration of all Christians, the living as well as the dead. These beliefs are specific to various denominations. Always know your background when planning a liturgical vestment that features a symbolic meaning.
And so, if your church is celebrating only All Saints Day or celebrating it along with Reformation Day, you can use these symbol designs to plan your church’s celebration. For more information on symbols, especially those of the Blessed Saints, browse through Church Symbolism, by F. Webber.
~Nihil Sine Deo~
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Webber, F. Church Symbolism. Cleveland: J. H. Jansen, 1927.
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