For those in the Northern Hemisphere, it is the middle of July, and if it is anything Minnesota, it is HOT! The last thing on everyone’s mind on a hot summer day is the Christmas gift giving season. Yet when it comes to church vestments, must one always wait for Christmas to give our beloved pastors and priest a gift? There are many times throughout the year and during a pastor or priest service to your church or parish when it might appropriate to give a gift. Events such as an ordination anniversary – 5 years, 10 years, 15 or even 20 or more years since they were ordained. Or how about the number os years they have been serving in a congregation? The church may also be celebrating a milestone such as the number of years they have been in a building or the number of years since the church was founded. Is there a special festival or holiday observance coming soon?
If all else fails, there is always the annual observance of Clergy Appreciation. Clergy Appreciation Day is observed on the second Sunday in October. This year that falls on October 8, 2017. That is still a few months off, but now would be a great time to start planning ahead for something special for your pastor, priest or minister for that event or for another celebration.
How can someone show appreciation for clergy? There are many simple ways. Having a card and cake after service on the observed Sunday is always nice. If your pastor or clergy is a friend, maybe take them out for lunch or dinner. They may be interested in a new book for their personal study or something that they have as a hobby (golf or woodcarving?). But another gift that the congregation can give is the gift of a stole, or a stole and chasuble set. The gift might be from the altar guild members, the elders, the fellowship committed, or from the church as a whole. Some could pitch in with gifts on money to purchase fabric, patterns, or trims, others could offer do the embroidery, while others could do the actual sewing and construction of a stole or chasuble. As a gift, a vestment can easily be purchased (whether pre-made or with material to make tie items) if a group of church member would each donate as they are able–i.e. $10, $15, $30, or more. We saw this very thing happen at a conference. A pastor had an idea to buy a stole as a gift for a missionary leaving soon. He asked some of his friends who also all knew the missionary to chip in. All it took was $20 a piece and they easily were able to purchase the gift. How incredibly thoughtful!
The gift of a stole, chasuble, or stole and chasuble set is always something to be appreciated. To help with that, we have developed a variety of stole and chasuble patterns.
For stoles, there is a 3 1/2 inch stole as well as a 4 1/2 inch stole. The lines of these stoles are identical. It is the width that is different. The stoles have a gently shaped neckline that fits well and then falls from the shoulder. The stoles are adjustable with length. The short length is 51 inches, and the longest length is 55 inches. There are also adjustments lines to lengthen or shorten the stole further. The stole also has a number of lines to mark placement for orphrey bands on both the chest and at the hemline. Stoles may be made with or without tassels or fringe at the bottom hemline.
Another traditional look for stoles is a tapered stole. The tapered stole has the same neckline curve as our other stoles. It then falls to a wider width at the lower end. The stole is available in a short length that works with a full surplice or a longer length. There are adjustment lines to customize the length if needed.
Although we do not have an illustration for our V-neck stole, this is a style clergy love. The V-neck stole is a wider stole that uses the same width down the length of the entire stole. It has a mitered seam at the Center back neckline and requires the use of a chain or small cord to help maintain the correct position of the stole during wear.
A favorite in the Ecclesiastical Sewing Workroom is the Monastic Chasuble. This is a full-size vestment that works well in many churches. Where there is no frontal in use, or in a large cathedral, this vestment, due to the width, adds color in the chancel. This a graceful vestment that drapes and hangs well. It does take a fair amount of fabric, but the results are wonderful.
The Classic Gothic chasuble above is also a favorite vestment. While it is not as full as the Monastic Chasuble, this is also a graceful vestment that falls nicely into folds and hangs well. This is a simple vestment to make and it can be made as a lined or unlined vestment.
Our stole patterns do come with a nice set of written instructions. The chasuble patterns have basic instructions and assume some knowledge on the part of the seamstress. We are working on a more detailed set of instructions for all of the vestment patterns which are available through Ecclesiastical Sewing, and of course, we will announce the release of those instructions here as they become available.
We hope this might be helpful for those interested in creating something special to show appreciation for your clergy member.
Sola Gloria Dei
Filed under: chasuble, Church Embroidery and Church Vestments, church vestment, Ecclesiastical Sewing, Pastoral Stoles, vestment patterns Tagged: Chasuble Patterns, clergy appreciation, Ecclesiastical Sewing, Monastic Chasuble Pattern, narrow stole pattern, v-neck stole pattern, vestment making