For some time I've wanted to design two banners for the sacraments of communion and baptism. My initial motivation was to provide worshippers-particularly children-with a visual cue that this day was a special day. When our sanctuary was renovated recently, the need became even more urgent. The front platform was greatly enlarged to make more room for choirs and praise teams, and a large prominent cross was replaced with a smaller one to accomodate a video projection screen. This new wide-open space begged for something, anything on which to focus one's eye. At 5 x 12', it is hard for anyone to miss these brightly-colored hangings.
Here is the banner for the Lord's Supper; next issue we'll show you the one designed for the celebration of baptism.
In this banner's design, I wanted to convey both the anguish of Christ's crucifixion and the hope of his resurrection. One of my early designs included a crown of thorns against a dark background and a bright sun shining across a light background. In front of both was silhouette of a hill and three crosses. Two of the three crosses were on the light side of the banner and the third was on the dark side, representing the unrepentant thief. Overall, it was much too complex and included an excess of symbolism (something that I often find a problem with designs for worship). So I simplified and simplified again. What you see at left is the result.
When I presented the design to our worship planning committee, the dark side was really dark-blood red, black, and charcoal gray. From the committee's reaction, I knew that this would have to change. It was too dismal for their taste. Instead, I kept the crown of thorns black, but changed the gray to purple. Even with the purple background, the mood of the left side is yet somber and contrasts nicely with the brightness of the right side.
The banner is made out of felt fused together with iron-on fabric adhesive (Wonder-Under brand).
Banner and Bulletin Cover Patterns
To help transfer this design to fabric, you can download an electronic version of this banner with a grid overlay.* Print out this pattern and use the grid as a reference for hand-copying the image to fabric or make an overhead transperancy of the pattern and project it at the desired size onto pattern paper taped to a wall. The second page of this document contains a graphic for a bulletin cover that corresponds with the banner.
*The 2pg/335k document has been saved in the PDF file format which requires the free Adobe Acrobat Reader application.