Bring on the Processional Banners!

Pamela Hardiman and Josephine Niemann who wrote Raise the Banners High! open their book with this statement: “It never fails. Every time processional banners are used in a liturgy, people seem a bit more alert, more attentive. …A good set of banners actually helps people celebrate liturgy in ways that other works of art do not. They help us participate with more of our senses.”

Have you thought about using banners in a processional instead of on a wall? I’ve had two occasions to help create such banners for worship. The first was for a Pentecost service. The banners were simple and bold strips of colored fabric suspended off a T-frame made from plastic tubing. These provided not only the colors of tongues of fire but a sense of the movement that must have been felt on that marvelous day the church first began. Secondly our worship leadership team wanted to try something different than the “typical” Nativity during the family Christmas Eve service. That year the children’s choir processed during the opening hymn with banners that had the figures for the Nativity graphically designed on them and placed them in the appropriate spots in the chancel as the story was told.

Recalling both of these first hand examples remind me of the energy that occurred during those worship services. I have to believe that the processional banners, unique to these services, were a worthy addition to helping us focus on praising God.