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Liturgical art in the sanctuary

The sanctuary at First & Central is, in itself, sparsely adorned. It is a space of peace, with warm wood tones and neutral colors.

Over the past twenty-five years, however, the church has commissioned a number of pieces of liturgical art; that is, art that enhances the worship experience. In particular, the pulpit and lectern (at left and right in the picture above), are typically outfitted with paraments (an ecclesiastical hanging or vestment) that reflect the liturgical season.

These liturgical seasons are:

  • Advent, the season preceding Christmas, featuring blue paraments

  • Christmas and epiphany, using white and gold paraments

  • Lent, with purple paraments

  • Eastertide (as well as weddings and memorials), also using white and gold

  • Pentecost (and any ordination event), with paraments featuring red, and

  • Ordinary time (the remainder of the Sundays), using green paraments.

See details of these artworks in the galleries below. Click on any image to bring up an expanded view or even full-screen view.

In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the merger of First and Central Presbyterian Churches, a new quilt hanging titled "Christ in the City" by renowned liturgical artmaker Pamela Hardiman was installed in the sanctuary. See its own gallery page.

And finally, no discussion of our sanctuary art is complete without a mention of our beautiful organ, designed and built by Gabriel Kney.

Green paraments: Ordinary time

Created for First & Central by Sherri Young Dunbar in 1999, these painted and appliquéed quilts brighten our sanctuary for much of the year. Biblical imagery abounds in these scenes from nature.

Purple paraments: Lent

The first of our sets of commissioned liturgical art, these elegant silk weavings were created by Newark, Delaware, artist Maureen Kamerick. She also created sets of stoles for the pastors to wear.

Red paraments: Pentecost and ordinations

The newest of our sets of paraments (from 2013), Atlanta, Georgia, artist Anne Vincent went bold with a depiction of the Holy Spirit igniting the early church. Hand-dyed wool is crafted into felt, with some embroidery (with sequins and beads) for an idea of connection.

White paraments: Eastertide and other holy days

Patrica Koester, mother of one of our members, executed these subtle quilts with imagery invoking the trinity. They were commissioned by member Betty Russell in memory of her husband, Lloyd. These paraments are used not only at Easter, but also for Transfiguration and Christ the King Sundays, weddings, and memorial services.

Advent and Christmas paraments

Church members JJ Jones (deceased), Dan Benson, and Marty Gross prepared these seasonal hangings in blue (for Advent) and white (for Christmas).