decorating the altar

For the last seven weeks, I have been going to church one morning a week to help Amy decorate the altar with fabric corresponding to that week’s color for the seven deadly sins. She approached me about this idea in the fall. I was not exactly sure what I could do to help, but I am always up for playing with color.

Several years ago, I realized that I love playing with color when I picked bright swatches of tissue paper out of the box of goodies in a creativity workshop. This was the same principle. Amy tries to make everything about her services deliberate. For these weeks of Lent, she wanted to convey the feeling of the sin. I thought of it as a morning creative exercise. I either skipped my morning walk or dropped by on my way back home. Very fun and a great way for me to use my talent in church. I would have never guessed that I would be recruited to do something like this.

I don’t think that I really got into decorating the altar until the last four weeks. (Or maybe I just can’t remember what envy looks like!) It was fun, but these past four weeks really stand out in my mind. The first week was okay. You can see it here on Amy’s blog. Then I decided that the colors should not all be draped the same way. So it was fun to try to find props from around the sanctuary and Amy’s office to convey different shapes and feelings.

I think that everyone was surprised by lust, because I happened to have a large bright blue meditation pillow that I added to the table dressing. Several different shades of blue cloth were also draped around the table and over shapely pots turned on their side. My mother-in-law was visiting and asked Henry why there were a bunch of clothes thrown up there. Regardless, I think that the pillow helped attract some people’s attention. Rumor has it that one of the church members heard the topic and placed the hearing device in the collections plate before Amy started her sermon. She did an excellent job and did not take the easy route of just discussing sex. Fortunately, all of Amy’s sermons are posted on the Calvary web site. Unfortunately, I haven’t taken pictures each week. Only this latest version of the gold you see above.

This last week, I was devastated when I walked into church and the communion table was set up. I had told Henry that the gray had been my favorite week. (As a little girl, gray was my favorite color because it’s my middle name and the color of my dad’s hair.) The sin – sloth. So it was perfect when Amy had one large shiny piece of satin that draped lazily across the table. I even attempted to go early to take a picture. But it had been moved to two smaller tables on the stairs above where the elaborate communion service was placed. I should not have waited to take the picture. I learned my lesson. So this week I brought my camera on Tuesday morning for my final altar dressing.

Be sure to visit Calvary this Sunday to hear all about greed. I am quite pleased with the altar and I am sure that there is much to learn from the sermon.

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