January 15, 2017 -
“THE SACRED BEAUTY OF CHURCH EMBROIDERY”
Since the days of Constantine the Great, our Holy Church has been known for her rich and ornate houses of worship. Ours is a tradition steeped in iconography, mosaics, frescoes and other forms of art, each contributing to making all of our churches – no matter how large or small – a representation of “heaven on earth.”
An ancient art form that is often overlooked when discussing such treasures is EMBROIDERY. Church Embroidery was quite popular throughout the centuries. It was generally the artistic contribution of pious women who devoted many painstaking hours of intricate work. So skillful were these women in their craft that they could easily embroider depictions of saints and scriptural scenes that could nearly match the details of painted icons. Expensive imported materials, sewn with silk, silver and gilt thread were used to create these masterpieces.
Embroidery also served a practical purpose. Most took the form of vestments and covers for liturgical vessels. Many have been preserved through the centuries, and can be seen in museums today. The embroidery shown here depicts scenes from the new Testaments: Doubting Thomas, Pentecost, The Ascension of our Lord plus His Transfiguration. It is remarkable to think that this ornate fabric has endured all these centuries.