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The Lenten Set at Grace Church on-the-Hill
Assembled in the traditional technique of English patchwork, in which all the pieces are turned over paper patterns and then overcast seams, the paper later removed. The frontal is a Laudian throw with design on every side, executed in polyester gabardine because of its non-creasing advantage and its beautiful draping qualities; lined on the straight parts of the altar, but free to flow smoothly at the corners without any backing; designed to carry from a distance dramatically through the use of colour only without texture.
As in the Lenten frontal for Holy Rosary Church, the actual time passage of the season itself is suggested here in the background. The colours move laterally from each side through the days of Lent to the centre panels of red which represent Holy Passion Week, culminating in a white cross to suggest, not the black associated with Good Friday but the final purity of sacrifice and atonement, Across the days and weeks the banded water form also moves/in time from the edges with the sugges¬tion of increasing preparedness for the Easter celebration; a time of regeneration, spiritual renewal, cleansing of the soul rebirth, resurgence and resurrection, a time to seek holiness/ consecration and purity of heart through deed and meditation.
Water: symbol of regeneration, cleansing and prification; the washing away of sin; the arising of a new life and the regaining of innocence.
Based on the penitential Psalm 51:
2- "Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity and cleanse me from my sin."
.... wash me and I shall be whiter than snow."
10. " Create in me a clean heart, 0 God; and renew a right spirit within me."
12. "Restore unto me the joy of my salvation, and uphold me in Thy free spirit
The Cross: One of the oldest and most universal of all Chistian symbols, used here specifically as a sign of atonement and redemption.
Blue: truth, Heaven, constancy ,faithfulness, wisdom and charity
Grey: colour ashes symbolizing mourning and humility, death of the body and immortality of the spirit, sometimes used as the Lenten colour
Brown: spiritual death and degradation, also renunciation of the world, e.g. the habits of the Franciscan and Capuchin Orders
Black: death and the underworld, mourning, sickness, negation
Green: growth, life etc., spring over winter, hence life over death; a mixture of blue and yellow, thereby suggesting charity and the regeneration of the soul through good works.
Red: the colour of blood, which is associated with the emotions and thereby is a symbol of both love and hate, each of which is a part of the story of Christ's Passion; signifies fervour, holy zeal and martyrdom.
White:innocence of soul and purity of thought, holiness of life, rejoicing and the colour of light
The Lenten Set was given by the Watson Family in memory of Graeme Watson