It has been a pleasantly busy fall in the Ecclesiastical Sewing workroom. We have transitioned from sewing a steady stream of red to sewing the colors of the church year.
The Liturgical colors of the church year are Violet (or blue) for Advent, White (and gold) for Festivals like Christmas and Easter, Violet for Lent, Red for Pentecost, Green for Ordinary times, and black for Good Friday and in some churches, Ash Wednesday.
The items in the above photo are Clergy stole kits that are prepared for shipping. The stole kit is a pre-cut piece of fabric with a coordinating lining fabric and cotton canvas to be used for making your own pastoral or priest stole. The stole kits are the fabric part and the patterns are purchased separately. Stole kits are a fun way to experiment with stole making for the beginner, and a way to provide a wider variety of stole for use by pastors and priests with the aid of a DIY project.
Yet with all of the profusion of colors – be it from stole kits or stoles, chasubles or chalice veils floating in and out of the Ecclesiastical Sewing workroom, things are looking rosy this time of year! The holiday decor is out, the church season has changed from ordinary times to the beginning of a new church year – Advent is here! It is a time of waiting and anticipation.
Wait – rose in a church vestment workroom? Some may be asking, “Is this a mistake? Rose is not a color used by the church! My pastors NEVER worn rose in all the years I have been going to church!”
Ah, yes, the doubters have arisen with the talk of things being a bit “rosy.” Well, let’ take a moment to explain about this “rose” stuff for use in the church.
During the season of Advent, many churches follow the tradition of lighting an Advent wreath. One candle is lit each Sunday for 4 Sundays. On the third Sunday, the Advent candle is often Rose colored – marking the celebration of Gaudete Sunday.
Special events in the life of the church are marked or celebrated in different ways. One way is by having a special clergy stole which can be an aid to the pastor or priest in helping to mark special events in the church year. One of those very special events is coming up in two short weeks. It is affectionately known as the “rose vestment” Sunday.
The Ecclesiastical Sewing workroom has been busy this year creating a beautiful rose collection for use on the special “rose Sundays” in the church year. The set is part of our St. Ignatius line of vestments. The set features a chasuble richly trimmed with a deep cranberry/red color. The rose and deep red tones fall under the penitential color family of violets.
The chasuble has an orphrey band using the Rose Pugin Orphrey edged with Gold St. Benet trim. The matching St. Ignatius stole has a coordinating orphrey band at the lower edge and a solid colored band at the chest level.
The silk dupioni has a sheen that works well for any time of the year, but in the Northern climates where daylight hours are scarce, and the lighting is often dimmed, silk dupioni catches at the scattered rays and simply shimmers!
The use of rose vestments increases in popularity each year. One may ask why should one go to all of the bothers of creating vestments and altar hangings when they are only used two times in the church year? The importance comes in as a means of teaching. The lessons for the day on Gaudete and Laetare Sunday have a lighter tone – a break from the heaviness of the Penitential seasons of Advent and Lent. It lets us know that there is a joy that awaits and it is just around the corner. The joy is Christmas (and Easter). And when the rose vestments come out, Christmas (or Easter) is almost upon us.
So, if your church is blessed to have a set of Rose Vestments, spend some time reading and learning about the importance that is marked on these special “Rose” days in the life of the church.
The time may be too tight to make rose vestments for Advent, but now is a great time to begin planning for Lent. For the DIY – check our line of Chasuble patterns. The rose chasuble can be created in either a Gothic or Monastic style chasuble, as well as in one of our new Fiddle back style chasubles.
For those who may only wish to make a stole, we have the complete pastoral stole kit with trims available online. The kit is available in both pastor and deacon stole versions.
Wishing you a happy and “rosy” Lent season.
Soli Deo Gloria
Please visit our website at www.ecclesiasticalsewing.com to see our complete line of liturgical fabrics, embroidery emblems, embroidery designs, altar linens and church vestments. We also have a line of church vestment patterns and trims for those who wish to make their own church vestments. You may also contact us through the online webpage to inquire about custom orders or vestments.