Decorative fabrics often decorate pulpits, lecterns and communion tables. These ornamental hangings, collectively known as paraments, are available from many commercial sources, but are easy to make and an excellent project for groups. Many purchased altar cloths are made of silk or treated fabrics, but sturdy cotton can also used to make lovely quilted pieces.
These directions are for tablecloths. See Seasonal Paraments for ideas on how to decorate the lectern or pulpit.
There are many excellent teaching materials on communion. HOLY COMMUNION, a videotape available from the RDRC at the Connecticut Conference of the United Church of Christ discusses the ritual, celebration, history and theology of Holy Communion in The United Methodist Church. This 30-minute, four-session study can be a source for discussion and study in UCC churches. Search the Online Catalog for other resources available from the Resource Center.
- Quilt Pattern or Fabric Design
- Several fabrics for the design in a single color (traditional liturgical colors are white, green, purple and red, but other colors could also be used)
- Backing fabric (optional)
- Measure current cloths to get the dimensions for creating a new cloth.
- Select a geometric or other simple quilt pattern.
- Prepare a paper pattern adding 1/4 inch border for assembling the piece.
- Iron the fabric onto the shiny side of freezer paper for stability.
- Cut and assemble the pieces.
- Cut the backing piece, if desired, and attach to top piece.
- These clothes could be quilted if a backing fabric is used.
Thanks to the First Congregational Church of Southington for sharing the images of these altar cloths.