Paradox, not Comfort

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I wanted the funeral pall to have the message of comfort.  I chose to make a quilt of soft white cotton, adding a cross, gold leaves, and words from Marty Haugen’s hymn “All Are Welcome.”  I planned and schemed over logistics of how to make this 6′ by 10′ piece in my small studio.  But action was slow, often blocked.

Then I worshipped with the congregation at The Village at Orchard Ridge, where the pall would be used.  We were celebrating The Transfiguration, what I personally term the 4th white Sunday.  It is the best day of mystery in the liturgical year!  Joseph A. Robinson’s hymn lyrics “How good Lord to be here……come with us to the plain.” float through my head for days afterwards.  I know that comfort is not the message.

The pall is completed: a quilted center deeply bordered of sheer fabric adorned with hand printed gold leaves and bound in gold silk.  It is light, both physically and visually.  It speaks of celebration, of victory.  The words from Haugen’s hymn, inscribed on the quilt, “where all are named, their songs and visions heard and loved….as words within the Word,” return me to the prologue of the gospel of John, “In the beginning was the Word….The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.”

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