I had the pleasure of attending a great live concert in Old St. Paul’s Church in Wellington, in 2009. The band that were performing were called Hot Club Sandwich. I really enjoyed the gig. The lively notes of the saxophone and guitars echoed in the air and bounced off the wooden beams, which is a dominant feature in the building. The church is a great example of 19th century Gothic Revival architecture and for someone like me who loves wood, it’s a great place to visit.
Ever since I came back to Wellington, I’ve wanted to visit Old St. Paul’s again. So last Sunday I dropped by to rekindle the love that I have for the place. I can safely say that it’s still the same. There’s such an earthy feel about wooden beams. It makes me feel like I’m on solid ground. That typical Gothic design of arches is also something I love.
The church hosts various musical concerts. But it also has a lovely gift shop and a corner of it is dedicated to Christmas. I saw a really nice Christmas wreath with fairy lights that was hanging on one of the doors.
Anyway, I was wandering around the church and to the left of the altar was a big cabinet with pull-out drawers. There was information above the cabinet about the Altar Hangings in the church. The liturgical calendar determines the colour of the altar hangings that they put up at different times of the year. Green is used on Sundays in Ordinary Time, which begins on the day after the Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord (the end of the Christmas season) and ending on the day before Ash Wednesday.
Violet is used during the period of Advent and Lent. Because of the red carpet in the church, they decided to use the colour blue instead of violet. White is used during Christmastide (From Christmas to the Baptism of Our Lord), Holy Thursday, Easter Season and other feasts of the year. Red is used on Palm Sunday, Good Friday, Pentecost and during the sacrament of Confirmation. The blue, white and red altar hangings were on display in the various drawers of this cabinet. The Red Set of Altar Hangings was beautiful. The set is made of red silk damask featuring a Tudor rose pattern. It also features a heavily embroidered cross in Japanese gold thread. There was a slight error though in the description of the symbolism of the five-leaved lily. It brought a smile to my face. See if you can notice. I’ll give you a clue. The letter “T” is missing in one of the words.