From the beginning of time, God has chosen to meet His people in sacred places. The “holy ground” of Mount Sinai became the tent in the wilderness and the Temple in Jerusalem.  The church building is the “dwelling place of God”,  and once inside we find colours and furnishings that invite us to be part of the liturgy.

Putting those colours and furnishings in place is our Decorating Committee, a dedicated and creative group of parishioners whose phenomenal efforts make our church beautiful.  When you enter our church, the current liturgical season greets you with a grace and style befitting our Mary, Mother of the Redeemer.

Our Decorating Committee, officially known as Art and Environment, decorates our church 8-10 times a year.   And while the word “decorating” may suggest items used for festivities, liturgical decorations mean “appropriate honour”.  That’s what the Latin decorus means: “seemly,” “decent”, “fit for its purpose.”  The group sets a mood that invites us to participate in the liturgy.  In fulfilling this purpose, they take into account the liturgical seasons, the readings, feast days, and Parish celebrations. At the heart of the work is the liturgical calendar and its colours.

Liturgical Year ColoursGreen is used in Ordinary Times (time between seasons) while violet/purple is used for Advent and Lent;  white for Christmas and Easter; Red for Pentecost . The committee uses meaningful symbols to translate images into the spirit of the worship environment.  During Eastertime, Ephesians 1:17-23 tells us that Jesus Christ fills the universe.  In response, the committee erects celestial signs – the earth, sun, moon and stars may appear in their banner, always the colour of the present liturgical season. Click Liturgical Colour Wheel to view!

Each item during the decorating process is placed specific to its symbolism.  Banners, baskets of flowers and swags are used to surround the assembly with the theme and colour of the season – many times strategically placed along the walls to create the mood.  The altar, the table of the Lord,  must be covered with a cloth but not too ornate or large as to fully cover this symbol of the Lord. During Easter, in celebration of the resurrection and ascension of Christ and the descent of the Holy Spirit, the committee make use of elements that draw the eye upward such as hanging stars and other shapes. They often use swaths of fabric arcing from wall to ceiling as a symbol of exultation (great rejoicing).  A white shroud may hang on the cross … representing the burial shroud of the Lord.

Decorating our church’s house through the seasons is not a labour of love for this group – it is just love.  And, as with all our ministries here at Mary, Mother of the Redeemer Parish, we are truly blessed to have them working among us in service of The Lord.