For thousands of years people of faith have used special fabrics to decorate sanctuaries and outfit ministers. These dressings, known as paraments, can be functional, ceremonial and celebratory. They often enrich the worship of God by marking holy times of the year and adding color to worship spaces.
The paraments used in worship at Westover Baptist Church in Richmond on Sunday, May 23, had a special story. They were made from fabric that was hand-painted by the children of the church. Reds and yellows, colors reminiscent of the bright flames of Pentecost, were used. The children had lots of fun with the project taking full advantage of the opportunity to be helpful, creative and messy all at the same time.
After the paint had dried, associate pastor Erin Spengeman sewed the fabric into a table covering, pulpit banners, Bible markers and stoles. Some paraments can be ornate and costly, but those used on Pentecost at Westover weren’t fancy or expensive. In fact, close inspection finds them a little “rough around the edges.”
But the paraments helped remind the children that God’s Spirit arrives with loud noise and uncontrollable fire and that He uses even young sons and daughters to speak to us.
Justin R. Joplin, pastor at Westover Baptist, wrote this for the worship bulletin on May 23.