This section is from the book "Arts & Crafts Magazine Vol1-2", by Hutchinson & Company.
The articles made of linen which are in most general use in churches are the communion or "fair linen" cloth, the corporal, the puriricator, the pall and chalice veil, and the credence table-cover.
The "fair linen" cloth, which is laid over the altar during the celebration of the Holy Communion, is usually made in the form of a scarf. It should hang down on both sides of the altar, almost touching the floor. On all four sides there should be a hem two or three inches deep, which should be double hemstitched and have mitred corners. The overhanging ends may be embroidered with the symbolic monograms or other devices, which should be placed in the centre of the width. It is usual to edge the front with a deep lace, which, when in use, will hang over and partly hide the super-frontal. The lace, however, is not obligatory. A border with a design of wheat and grapes is very appropriate on the communion cloth. The corporal is a cloth about twenty inches square, made of the finest linen or lawn. It should be finished with a plain hem an inch deep, and the decoration should be chaste and simple. A small cross worked in the centre is often the only ornament, but simple crosses may also be embroidered on the four corners.
The credence table-cover should be made of the same quality of linen as is used tor the communion cloth. It should also have the double hemstitched hem, and the corners should be mitred in the turned hem. This is the way all corners of church linen should be turned; the effect being much richer than with the square corner. The hems of vestments are also mitred. The credence table-cover may be made of a linen square exactly the size of the table top, with a straight border sewed on the four edges, with its side edges joined by mitring. The decoration of this cover is usually crosses, one in each corner on the surface of the table, about an inch each way from the edges. The cloth need not hang very low. When the vessels are placed on a side shelf instead of on the table, this cloth should, of course, be only large enough to fit the table.
The puriticator is the linen napkin used for wiping the sacred vessels after the communion. It is made either square or oblong, but the kind in general use in the English Church is about fourteen inches square. About half-a-dozen of these cloths are generally kept on hand for the service of the altar. They should be of the finest lawn, very neatly hemmed and embroidered with a small, simple cross, in either white or red cotton. Indeed, all such articles, coming in contact, as they do, with the sacred vessels, should be of the best possible material and faultless workmanship.
Altar Cross of polished brass, with enamels introduced at the extremities. By permission of Messrs. Benham & Froud.
Alms Plate, made in hand-beaten copper and finished in oxidised silver.
By permission of Messrs. Benham & Froud.
The pall and chalice veil may also be of linen; it seems more fitting that they should be, though they are often of silk, to match the vestments of the day. It used to be the custom to cover the chalice with a corner of the corporal veil as well as the paten, but as early as the twelfth century a separate pall was used, and this is now the custom. The chalice veil should be twenty or twenty-two inches square, and should be made of the purest linen lawn. It may be finished with a narrow edging of real lace,
Detail of the Cross shown on the opposite page.
Valenciennes, or thread lace, with a narrow hemstitched hem. A tiny fringe is used on the silk veils. The decoration is usually a single cross, though a fine border is sometimes embroidered. This cross may be placed in the centre of the veil, or so that it will fall over the front of the chalice when the veil is laid evenly over it. The proper position for the latter way may be determined by folding the veil in three one way. and exactly in half the other; where the lines meet on the firstcreased division of the linen, there the centre of the cross should be fixed.
Fig. 2. - Altar Cross of hammered brass, the front being of bomb section with lower brass sphere and forged iron base.
The pall is made by covering a card six inches square with firm linen, in the centre of which a small cross has been embroidered. When the linen has been drawn tightly over the card, it is customary to fasten it with long stitches on the back, then to lay a square of linen over these and whip-stitch the edges together and finish them with a cord. There is another way which makes the finish very neat and perfect, but it is given here with some hesitation, for unless it is done with the utmost skill it will seem careless and by no means proper. Two cards are used of exactly the same shape, and not too heavy. The one covered as before with the on the face of which is applied brass strap work. All three examples are decorated linen, except that, instead of the stitches on the hack, the card should have a coating of embroidery paste on the reverse side, about one inch deep around its edges. The fine line will adhere to this when pressed over from the front; cut it away at the corners, so as to paste down the corners mitred. The second card should be covered in the same way with the lining; then lay upon its inner edges a second coating of paste, quite thick at the corners, but smooth and so rubbed back that it will not exude when you lay the two ccards to-gether. Cover them with a piece of line paper, and dry them between the covers of a heavy book.
Processional Cross of forged iron, Messrs. Waltham & Co.
Fig. 1. - Altar Cross of forged iron, with applied ends of pierced and hammered plate work.
Some additional hints regarding dimensions may be useful. The altar must not be less than six feet long and three feet three inches high. The super-frontal should hang over about eight inches. The linen cloth for covering should be the width of tin-top of the altar and hang down about two feel .at each end. The chalice veil should be twenty-seven inches square, and may be either of silk or linen; it should have a cross in the centre. The burse should be nine inches square; it is generally made of silk. The pall should be live or six inches square, with one cross nearly covering the centre; it should be mounted on stiff card, and edged with lace or fringe. The veil should be eight or nine inches square and have five crosses, the centre one exactly the same as that on the pall, the corner ones smaller. The purificator should be twice the length of the breadth and have a silk cross in one corner.
The design given herewith is to be embroidered on linen. The stitches to be used are indicated on the drawing; but the description of treatment given below will doubtless be acceptable to many workers.
Design for Communion Cloth or Linen Superfrontal.
The border is worked with satin-stitch, after having been run leng hwise twice, the body of the cross being filled in rather solidly with seed-stitch. The kernels of wheat are filled so that the roundest part of each is toward the outer end; the beard is in fine stem-stitch worked over one thread. The grape leaves should be flat, having little or no filling, while the grapes should stand out roundly. All single lines are to be worked in stem stitch over one thread, fine or coarse cotton being used, according to the delicacy or boldness of the line.