linen? Why not use some of the new, easy-care, "miracle"
fabrics for our fair linens, purificators, palls, corporals and albs? Is
there a reason to use linen?
reason is simple, our desire to use the finest, most beautiful materials
available at God's altar. Beauty is not necessary. Beauty is not always
even efficient. When we prepare God's altar, we are beyond the category
of necessary and efficient. We do all for the utter joy of serving our
are in error when we call the man-made fabrics miracle fabrics. The true
miracle fabrics were made by God. They are wool, cotton, silk --and
linen. In recent years some parishes have turned to the easy-care,
synthetic fabrics for use on the altar. But they are finding that these
fabrics stretch out of shape, are not absorbent, hold stains, and,
oddly, hold wrinkles, too. The lower cost of these fabrics is proving to
be money ill spent.
is a joy to use and to behold. Linen launders superbly. Few things can
compare with a beautifully laundered and ironed fair linen. Always rinse
the holy linens before laundering. It is traditional to pour this first
rinse water down the piscina or onto the ground. A moment's reflection
on the fact that these wine stains are the preclous Blood of Jesus will
speak to the reason.
says, "And Joseph took the Body and wrapped it in a clean linen
cloth" (Matt. 27:59; Mark 15:46; Luke 23:53; John 19:40). Our
Lord's body was wrapped in linen before it was placed In the sepulcher,
and all our holy linens remind us of this when we use them. Linen is the
traditional fabric used at the altar. It is beautiful, and its history
is deep In the Scriptures. Let us give God's altar the best, the finest.
In whatever is used on it and in the loving service that we render our
from an article by Marty Thompson
the book Sewing Church Linens by Elizabeth Joseph Morgan