Many Catholic churches, with their stained glass windows and elaborate statuary, require little adornment. But there are times when flowers and pictures can significantly enhance the worshippers' experience. A special occasion, such as Christmas, calls out for red poinsettias and wreaths, and the predictability of these decorative arrangements is comforting. Along with the traditional, however, add a little creativity to spark interest while respecting the season.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Potted poinsettias
- Christmas wreaths
- Evergreen boughs
- Photographs of church members, min. 4 x 5 inches
- Sturdy, colourful cardboard
- Decorative paint
- Craft knife
Ask each church member in September to provide a favourite photograph of themselves, no smaller than 4 by 5 inches, for a Christmas display. This can be done through a church newsletter or the weekly program. Show an example, including a cardboard frame that you have decorated. Keep it simple and tasteful. Give a deadline of October 31.
Gather the photos and materials and cut cardboard frames into ovals, rectangles and squares. Mark the space for the centre opening with ruler and pencil, and cut out the centre with a sharp craft knife. Leave at least a 1-inch border of the photo for taping to the frame later. Write a number in light pencil on the back of each photo and frame to match up later.
Make this a community project by asking Sunday School teachers to have the children in their classes decorate the frames (without the photos), using paint, stickers, any decorations they choose. Allow as much creativity and originality as possible. Accept mistakes -- it will make the effort more authentic.
Tape the photos into the corresponding frames. For a sturdier product, tape cardboard to the back of the photo and frame. From remaining scraps of cardboard, cut a square about 4 inches by 4 inches, fold in half, then half again. Line up the bottom edge of the frame with the fold.Test it to be sure the frame will stand. You may need a larger piece of cardboard to support heavier photos. If your test is successful, glue the folded cardboard to the back of the frames.
Set up the photo display in the church's windowsills, along the entrance tables, any flat surfaces that are available. Intersperse the exhibit with the festive poinsettias and evergreens. Anticipate a delighted congregation at Christmas services!
Tips and warnings
- Seek the support of your priest well before you launch the project.
- Include all church members.
- Don't be a perfectionist.
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