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All About Our New Green Paraments

The new green paraments decorating our chancel are from Jeff Wunrow Designs, a local artist who also designed the banner celebrating John and Dorothy Gross’s ministry. The design selected was “For God So Loved the World.” The design uses overlapping ovals and circles to create a cross encircling the world. You’ll notice the UCC orb and scepter – another way of symbolizing God’s steadfast love for God’s creation.

The word parament comes from Latin, meaning “to decorate” or “to prepare”. In modern usage, paraments refers to the textiles decorating the Communion table, pulpit and lectern.

At the beginning of Christianity, when worship spaces were not defined by specific buildings, banners were a good way to set apart a space for worship. They were inexpensive and easy to carry. As churches developed, so did the use of decoration, eventually becoming what you see today. The amount and ornateness of the decorations will vary depending on denomination and wealth. There have

been movements and counter-movements moving between simplicity and extravagant display through the years.

Paraments vary with the church season and have symbols representing the theology and life of the church, in our case St. Lucas United Church of Christ. As a general rule paraments are:

White – used at St. Lucas UCC for baptisms, weddings, funerals, and for celebrating Communion. Also used during the Easter season and Christmas through Transfiguration. White symbolizes purity.

Blue/Purple – used during Advent and Lent. Blue/purple symbolizes repentance, turning back to God and reflection.

Red – used for Pentecost and, often, for Reformation Sunday. Red symbolizes the flame associated with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

Green- used for the Season of Epiphany between Transfiguration Sunday and the beginning of Lent, and for Ordinary Time between Trinity Sunday (first Sunday after Pentecost) and the beginning of Advent. Green symbolizes living things and the promise of new life. It is the color most seen during the church year.

Black – Black is rarely seen. If the chancel is not bare for Good Friday, black

paraments may be used.

St. Lucas UCC has a set of each color, using blue rather than purple.

May God bless St. Lucas United Church of Christ!

Pastor Vicki

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