Saturday, November 28, 2009

Church Decorating

This morning, several of us gathered at the church to decorate for Advent.  In years past, it was customary to spend this Saturday decorating all out for Christmas.  But, this year, after much conversation, we have decided to scale down our decorating in a manner more in line with the penitential nature of Advent.  A few of the changes we've made include:

  • Returning to the liturgical color of purple (we had used blue the past five years) - we were blessed with the ability to purchase a beautiful new purple superfrontal, chalice veil, and pulpit bookmark, along with a gorgeous new purple chasuble for yours truly to wear, custom made by DK Brunner & Son
  • Removing the candelabras from the chancel
  • Ordering flowers more in line with Advent (as opposed to the bright red and white in the past)
  • Still putting the Christmas tree up, but holding off on lighting it until Christmas Eve
  • Still putting the Nativity scene up, but adding to it progressively (the first week of Advent, the stable will be empty; the second week, we'll add the animals; the third week, we'll place Mary and Joseph outside of the stable; the fourth week, we'll place them inside the stable; on Christmas Eve, we'll add the Christ Child and the shepherds; on Epiphany, we'll add the wise men - and, we'll keep the Nativity scene in place until February 2nd, when we'll celebrate the Presentation of Our Lord)
  • Not putting the banners up on the side wall of our nave, between our stained glass panels (these four banners are the names/titles of our Lord from Isaiah 9:6 - Wonderful Couselor, Almighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace; we'll put these up after Divine Service on the fourth Sunday in Advent)
  • Removing the two long red/scarlet curtains that flank the altar, allowing the white pillars to be exposed (we may keep these curtains down permanently, as all who were there think it looks much better without them)
  • Minimizing decorations throughout the nave; adding festive decorations when Christmas arrives

We toyed with the idea of not putting the Christmas tree and the Nativity scene up, but concluded that putting them up in the manner we have (not lighting the tree and progressively adding to the Nativity scene) is a healthy compromise between those who would rather not put them up and those who would rather have them decorated in full.  Besides, I think this works well.  While Advent is a penitential season, it is also a season of anticipation and expectation.  Having symbols of Christmas before us, but holding off on seeing them in their full splendor lends itself well to a people longing for the Coming of their Lord.

Anyway, the end result is simply beautiful.  I am very impressed with how everything turned out and can't wait to serve in the Lord's House tomorrow.  Here are some pics (the purple doesn't come through as well as I would have liked in these pics from my iphone - hopefully, I'll get some better pics tomorrow with one of my daughter's digital cameras with flash):









And the best pic of all:


meggers said...


meggers said...

The last picture, that is. Everything else looks AWESOME!

Rev. Thomas C. Messer, SSP said...

That last picture is the BEST! Love the pose . . . :)

Jilian Stahl said...

Megan looks amazing! Oh and the church looks great too!

sag said...

She knows how to run the vacuum? Rarely happened when she lived at my house!