Veiling does not hide or diminish, rather it reveals the dignity and honor that is due to what, or Who, lies beneath the veil. In scripture we find many examples of God's veiled presence among us. The Church carries this tradition forward to reveal to the faithful that He is fully present — Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity — in the Eucharist.
The sacred vessels (ciboria), which hold our Eucharistic Lord within the tabernacle, are adorned with the finest available materials and designs to convey the Truth that is beneath. While we can never do justice to His Divine Presence we bring our very best to the Lord Who eagerly awaits us and delights in our visit.
Recently a priest contacted me dissatisfied with the options available for ciborium veils. He could not have known that I have been eager to create elegant ciborium veils for a long time. This request provided an ideal opportunity to find the time to design the embroidery patterns and develop a method for assembly.
With lovely gold silk satin in stock, and much research, I began work on the designs. The IHS design will look familiar to readers of this blog. It was created as an embroidery sample in December 2021. The cross is based on the IHS design and the edge is hand drawn to reflect antique liturgical embroidery I have seen in restoration projects.
Next came the challenge of developing a method for assembly. The initial plan to line it with the same satin quickly led to the realization that the veil would be too relaxed. With experimentation I found linen was the perfect compliment to the satin, both as the most fitting form of a burial cloth for our Lord and adding just enough overall structure.
The end result is a ciborium veil with the feel of an elegant antique and the durability of new construction.
It is a divine privilege and honor to do this work. I am profoundly grateful to serve our Lord and His Church this way and I look forward to the next opportunity.
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