Monday, July 15, 2013

The Embroidered Altar Pall

In the Old Testament, we read about the Ark of the Covenant - that magnificent home and protection for the written word of God. This Ark was considered so special that even the priests whose job it was to carried it were not allowed to look at it with their eye. A veil was placed between the human eye and the Holy of Holies.

Would it be a wonder then, if we should emulate even a fraction of this honor due God when housing His very Own True Presence in the Blessed Sacrament? Every big and little ornament and article used in to the purpose of housing and protecting Our Lord must be special and in turn, beautiful.

Tabernacle, veil, jewels, and even the chalice themselves should be made of the finest of materials for the King of Kings. And when He comes to us in Holy Communion, the priest insures that not even a particle of dust or debris will fall near him. How does this happen?

With the help of a pall.

Made of linen and stiffened inside to board-like stiffness, the altar pall is used to cover the Chalice and prevent anything from falling inside. This simple tool has a giant purpose. Given it's high office, the pall is often embroidered and decorated with the finest in Catholic motifs and designs.

Our seamstress did an amazing job on this special order for custom palls. These beauties will grace the altar through the hands of a priest in Canada, thanks to the generosity of his friends.

"And I clothed thee with embroidery, and shod thee with violet coloured shoes: and I girded thee about with fine linen, and clothed thee with fine garments." - Ezechiel 16:10

Friday, July 5, 2013

About Our Custom Book Covers

So, can Catholic Embroidery really make a book cover to fit ANY book?

The answer is: YES!

Customers write quite often, asking if our book cover customization services extend beyond embroidery and into the book size as well. There hasn't been a book yet to date, that we haven't been able to cover.

This includes covering Bibles, prayer-books, missals, antique collections, handbooks, Diurnals, and choir books. Not only do the covers offer ultimate zipper-enforced protection from wear, tear, and elements, the added feature of optional custom embroidery will make your book a walking piece of Catholic art.

To cover your favorite book, simply order a Custom Book Cover from our website and enter your book's dimensions and any other choice options at your disposal. {Measure in inches or millimeters, looking at the book head-on: height, length, and spine width.} That's it! Our talented seamstresses will take care of the rest, designing a cover that will fit your book like a glove!

The old adage is true: We've gotcha covered. :)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Embroidered Stole: Golden Maltese Crosses

White & violet brocade fabrics designed to allow for a "reversible" stole

It's such a treat to work with talented seamstresses across the country! I am always amazed at the ideas, vision, and array of beautiful fabrics that take shape into exquisite treasures for priests and the altar through their skillful hands.

One such seamstress recently contacted us with a special custom project: Maletese Crosses embroidered in gold metallic thread on stole she is creating for a a priest.

The small gold cross will rest, as always, on the neck of the priest...

And as usual, this special request gave me the opportunity to learn more about my Faith and the symbolism in her art and liturgy. The Maltese Cross' history and symbolism can be found in last week's blog post... while the meaning of the stole is shared below:

"A liturgical vestment composed of a strip of material from two to four inches wide and about eighty inches long. It has either a uniform width throughout, or is somewhat narrower towards the middle, widening at the ends in the shape of a trapezium or spade. A small cross is generally sewed or embroidered on the stole at both ends and in the middle; the cross, however, is prescribed only for the middle, where the priest kisses the stole before putting it on... Stoles for festivals are generally ornamented with embroidery, especially what are called 'vesper stoles'... At the ordination of priests the bishop draws the part of the stole that rests at the back of the candidate's neck forward over the breast and lays the two ends crosswise, saying: 'Receive the yoke of the Lord, for His yoke is sweet and His burden is light.'... The giving of the stole to the candidate at ordination in Rome was intended to convey a double symbolism; first, that the elevation to the clergy of the Roman Church occurred de benedictione S. Petri, and secondly that by ordination the candidate entered the service of St. Peter, that is of the Roman Church." - From the Catholic Encyclopedia online
This "Penitential" side of the stole will be used for while
hearing confessions... during Lent... Advent...

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Mighty Maltese (and the 3 C's)

So, we had a little guessing game over on our Facebook page last week. The question arose (thanks to a recent custom order for embroidery on an handmade stole): What do the 8 points on the Maltese Cross symbolize?

To be quite honest, I didn't even know that this particular question existed until I began working on the project. "A Maltese Cross?" I asked? "Must have something to do with heraldry..." I mused, quite shamefully disinterested.

But the little promptings of Catholic Culture Conscience (didn't know there was such a thing? Well, I think we just found it!) prompted my curiosity into action. I noticed a comment in the email body from my customer about the 8 Beatitudes. "A type of cross isn't created without some reason or symbolism," I thought. The results of my curiosity to learn more about the Maltese Cross did not disappoint.

And so - to satisfy your own Catholic Culture Conscience (we'll call it the 3 C's around here) - Behold! our findings...

The Maltese Cross is a symbol of the Knights of Malta, based after a cross design from the First Crusade. In the 16th century, the 8 points of this cross represented by the Knights the "eight points of courage" namely:

Glory and Honor
Contempt of death
Helpfulness toward the poor and sick
Respect for the Church

The Order of St. John taught that these 8 points also represented the 8 Beatitudes of Jesus Christ, given to us in the Sermon on the Mount. Today, the Maltese Cross can be found in symbolism of aviation, medicine, and on flags, crests, documents, and clubs around the world. 

The most interesting of these, of course, is it's application as embroidery designs in a family business workshop in the USA. :) For pictures of the stole embroidery, visit us next week!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Message from the Sacred Heart

Happy feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus!
 Such love from God deserves a return, don't you think? He only asks for one little thing...

A MESSAGE from the Sacred Heart!
What may this message be?
"My child, My child, give Me thy heart;
 My heart has bled for thee."

This is the message Jesus sends
To my poor heart today,
And from His throne in Heaven He bends
To hear what I shall say.
A MESSAGE from the Sacred Heart!
What may this message be?
"My child, My child, give Me thy heart;
 My heart has bled for thee." 

A message to the Sacred Heart;
Oh! bear it back with speed:
"Come, Jesus, reign within my heart;
Thy heart is all I need."
This prayer I'll pray while here I pine,
From Heaven and Thee apart;
Nor cease, dear Lord, till I am Thine.
Forever, Heart to heart.
A MESSAGE from the Sacred Heart!
What may this message be?
"My child, My child, give Me thy heart;
 My heart has bled for thee." 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Jesus, Jesus Come to me!

"Suffer the little children, and forbid them not to come to me; for the kingdom of heaven is for such." Matthew 19:14

Such words are remembered almost on a daily basis this spring! With over 35 orders for custom First Communion Handkerchiefs within a month's time gracing our workroom, we unite ourselves to so many First Communions all over the world.

But it's not just handkerchiefs that are used to commemorate the special days of little boys and girls - we are always thrilled to work with customer's special requests. One mother called us and asked if we could embroider our new Trefoil Chalice design on her daughter's dress.

Gold and silver metallic thread on top of the satin-white fabric, you ask? Stunning.

Congratulations to all of the children and adults who are receiving Our Lord for the first time. May all our communions be as sacred to us as that "first".

"Jesus, Jesus, come to me,
All my longing is for Thee, 
Of all friends the best thou art, 
Make of me Thy counterpart. 
Jesus, I live for Thee, 
Jesus, I die for Thee, 
I belong to Thee, 
Forever in life and death."

Friday, May 24, 2013

On the Road with Catholic Embroidery

Last month found our family and home-based business taking to the road. The St. Louis Catholic Homeschool Conference 2013 was the destination and purpose for packing up our wares for an other-than-internet display. This was our fourth consecutive year as conference vendors and our booth gets bigger and bigger with each year. :)
Such adventures bring with them much work - but more joy! Working together as a family in an "all for one, one for all" way is the best of bonding. This time found our shop-away-from-home well equipped with brother-haulers, sister decorators, a father planner, and a mother to supervise "catering". :) Even our dummy served it's purpose well!

Many of our newest products also made their debut at the conference, including these beauties:

Mother's Crown Handkerchief
Embroidered handkerchief with Cardinal Mindzenty's famous quote, "The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world" in honor of mothers, everywhere.

Catholic Symbol Doilies
Adding a Catholic flair with classic style to homes (coffee tables, home altars, dining rooms, etc.)

There's no telling where Catholic Embroidery will take to the road next time. Maybe you'll see us in your neck-of-the-woods!