Bright Morning Star
Easter Panels and Paraments
At Easter we celebrate God’s power of creation and renewal revealed in the resurrection of Jesus as the Christ. These Easter Panels seek to celebrate both that event and the ongoing work of that transforming power. We see God’s creative power made manifest through finite, earthly realities, such as a tree, a flower, or a human being. We also know this creative energy in the colors of light, in the powerful attraction of love, the harmonies of music, and the enormous energy of stars and galaxies.
Their name, Bright Morning Star, came to me while a setting of the old song “Bright Morning Stars” was being sung with the panels hanging in the background. A shaft of sunlight lit up the panel behind the singer, bringing many of us to tears. The reference is from Revelations 22:16: “I am the root and descendant of David, the bright morning star.” 2016
The Righteous Branch (“Gathering”) (Left Panel)
The left Easter panel is based on Isaiah’s prophecy (Isaiah 11) of God’s creative power being gathered into a seemingly dead stump of Jesse’s lineage. It gives rise to a stream of DNA that spirals in increasing concentration culminating in the birth of Jesus. 27″ x 144″
The Flower Full Blown (“Dispersing”) (Right Panel)
The right Easter panel envisions the Easter moment of God’s life-giving power, creative energy flows out of the dark cave of death, spiraling into a new creation which we are invited to participate in through a cross of suffering and the flames of God’s Spirit. What was contained in the dead stump and the cave finds a New Life in God’s light and love. 27″ x 144″
The two panels incorporate the motifs of cross and flame in our central window to help us penetrate more deeply into this mystery of birth, death, and new life. The variety of shapes and fabrics that compose the background of the panels reflects the “crazy quilts” of our Appalachian heritage, just as the dogwood blossoms of the paraments remind us of the Easter event in our own native trees.
The Pulpit and Lectern Paraments and Altar Runners
These paraments and runners are made from the same materials as the larger panels but emphasize the Appalachian use of the dogwood flower as a symbol of crucifixion and resurrection.