Liturgical Vessels

Joyful Feast stole
Yesterday our Facebook post was just for the fun of case you hadn't heard, November 2nd is "Look For Circles Day". This led us to make a photo album of stoles we had in stock that contained a circle or two. This Communion stole that is an interpretation of "A Joyful Feast" was a perfect addition to the album. Coincidentally, shortly after making the post our trusty letter carrier delivered us our copy of Basket, Basin, Plate and Cup: Vessels in the Liturgy edited by David Philippart. Our designing and stitching was set aside for a bit as we could hardly put this little gem down. The book is a collection of essays that encompass scripture references, history, an examination of the work of contemporary artists, instruction on care for liturgical vessels, blessings for Eucharist vessels and a surplus of beautiful photographs. 

Just be skimming the first chapter I am wondering how those in ministry leadership select the vessels that are used in worship. Are they selected from artists that have created them in a praise response to God? Are the vessels created in a manner that they seem invitational to come as a community and celebrate the mystery? Likewise we reflect that ministry stoles and worship banners can be thought of in a similar way. It is our intention at Carrot Top Studio for our work to be a response to our faith and for it to be used to help make a visual connection with the words in liturgy to worship the great I Am.

If this thinking about vessels has opened Pandora's box in the ideas that dance in your head you might also like the symbolism and meditations in the book The Cup of Our Life : A Guide for Spiritual Growth by Joyce Rupp. In the studio we're obviously visual learners so this book that uses all different types of ordinary vessels to make symbolic connections and draw one closer to God is appealing. I think both of these titles would be great in the Sunday School classroom, Bible study or small group to initiate thought provoking conversation and learning.