Paraments for Passion Sunday and Holy Week

For years most Lutheran congregations used only purple for Lent and Holy Week. That began to change in 1981 when two new colors were introduced with the revised lectionary: blue for Advent and scarlet for Passion Sunday and Holy Week.

Thanks to a generous donation in memory of Harold Hain, we recently acquired a set of scarlet paraments and dedicated them this past Sunday.

This is a picture of the superfrontal. The lamb with a gash in its side is a traditional symbol of Christ who is the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” The lamb is standing on a palm branch as a reminder of Christ’s entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. The lamb appears sad, because he knows he will soon die for the sins of the people. The black bars and blood-red cross are also reminders of Christ’s death.

The pulpit is adorned with this antependium. The lamp is a traditional symbol for the Word of God. The leafy branch a symbol of new life.

These exquisitely embroidered paraments were made for us by the Gaspard company.

What are Lenten Vespers?

In the Lutheran church, Vespers is the traditional service for afternoon and evening prayer. It consists of selected Psalms and hymns, a scripture reading, a brief sermon, the Magnificate, and various prayers. Often, much of the service is sung. It usually lasts between a half hour and 45 minutes depending upon the length of the sermon.

It is customary for Lutheran congregations to meet on Wednesday evenings during the season of Lent to reflect upon Christ’s passion. Generally penitential Psalms are used and the lesson is drawn from a roughly chronological account of Christ’s last supper, arrest, and crucifixion that has been assembled from the four Gospels.

Recently for Lent at St. Paul, Pastor Hinkle preached a series on the seven things Christ said from the cross. You will find the first sermon in the series here.