First Communion Table Decorations

first communion table decorations

    table decorations
  • (table decoration) Any of many diverse articles placed on a dining table principally as ornament though some may have a secondary function

    first communion
  • The precept of the Church that requires children to receive Holy Communion, along with the sacrament of penance, on reaching the age of reason. First issued by the Fourth Lateran Council (1215), the practice was all but discontinued for centuries, due to the inroads of Jansenism.

  • The First Communion, or First Holy Communion, is a Catholic Church ceremony. It is the colloquial name for a person's first reception of the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. Catholics believe this event to be very important, as the Eucharist is one of the central focuses of the Catholic Church.

St Mary & All Saints, Droxford , Hampshire

St Mary & All Saints, Droxford , Hampshire

In its earliest and main parts the Church dates from the middle of the 12th Century (1150-1160). It is believed that a Saxon Church existed previously in the parish. St Wilfred is said to have converted
the Meon Valley to the Christian faith in the second half of the 7th Century, about 660-670 AD. There is good reason for accepting this.

This consisted of nave and apse chancel. The original walls of the nave remain today inside the present church as they were first built, except where they were subsequently cut into arches opening into the aisles. The massive square pillars, which are a feature of the church, are sections of the outside walls of the Norman building. The Norman chancel arch stands in its original position, but was raised about four feet in comparatively modern times, as can be easily seen. The fine Norman doorways in north and south walls belong to the original church.

In the 13th Century, the north aisle and chapel (now used as a vestry) were built. The 14th century saw the addition of the south aisle and chapel, with its canopied niche. The aisles were erected
outside the existing walls, those being cut away to form arches. As the aisles were built, the carved north and south doorways were moved to the positions they now occupy.

This bears, carved on a stone above the entrance, the date 1599. It is uncertain whether the date refers to the actual erection of the tower, or merely commemorates some Tudor restoration. There are five bells, the oldest bearing the date 1606.

At the beginning of the 20th century (1903) during the incumbency of the late Canon John Vaughan, the church was most carefully renovated and some most interesting discoveries were
made. The walls of the two chapels were carefully examined, with the result of finding in the south chapel a piscina, and in the north chapel both piscina and aumbry, the latter in excellent preservation, the slots for hinges and door-bolt being plainly apparent. The scraping of the north chapel walls revealed traces of the 16th Centur;y scroll decoration. The removal of plaster, which to some extent had covered up the Puritan desecration of the fine canopied niche in the east wall of the south chapel, showed, still remaining, some of the red and blue mediaeval colouring, and the rose of William of Wykeham in the centre of the canopy was uninjured. The niche no doubt contained a statue of the Virgin and Child.

The recumbent figure of a lady of rank that lies in the south chapel was put there during the restoration in the belief that it formed part of a stately tomb that had been destroyed by fanatical zealots of the 17th Century. The figure had been found, about 1820, buried in a meadow near the church, and was then taken to the church and laid behind the organ in the north chapel.

No information exists as to the identity of the person. It is conjectured that it may be the mother of John de Drockensford, who was the son of the local Squire and was keeper of the Wardrobe to Edward I, and Chancellor of the Exchequer to Edward II, and finally Bishop of Bath and Wells. His tomb is in Wells Cathedral.

The ancient staircase, which in mediaeval times led to the rood-loft, was found by boring the massive masonry of the pillar from which rises the north end of the chancel arch. The steps, broken, but distinguishable, can be seen by opening the carved oak door in the face of the pillar, behind the organ. Part of the door leading onto the rood-loft can be seen above the pulpit. No trace remains of loft or screen.

The Jacobean oak communion rails, which had been removed some years earlier, but happily not destroyed, were restored to their old place, as was the oak altar table, also Jacobean (but the latter was stolen in 1990 and had to be replaced).

The scraping of the chancel walls revealed part of the heads of two windows on the south side. The 1903 restoration included the panelling of the sanctuary walls in a fine dark wood harmonising well with the old oak of rails and altar. On the south side of the sanctuary a panel, which can be opened, covers a piscina and shelf.

The most recent change is a new stained glass window that was commissioned to mark the third millenium. The window was designed and installed by Vanessa Cutler, and is in the south-west
corner, to the left as you approach the south porch.

There are four of these interesting relics. Two are in the south porch, one on each jamb of the Norman doorway, and two on the outside south wall, on the East jamb of the window of the south-east chapel, one above the other.

These date from 1633: but earlier entries are not continuous.

An interesting connection exists between this famous man and Droxford. Walton's daugnter Anne married Dr. William Hawkins, who was Rector of Droxford as well as Prebendary of Winchester. In
his will, Walton left to his daughter Anne "all

42640004 Presbytery and Apse, Basilica di Sant'Apollinare in Classe

42640004 Presbytery and Apse, Basilica di Sant'Apollinare in Classe

Presbytery and Apse, Basilica di Sant'Apollinare in Classe, Ravenna; taken with a Canon EOS 1v.


The Presbytery and Apse Mosaics

The apse mosaic dates from the 6th century and depicts two scenes that blend into each other. At the top is an interestingly symbolic depiction of the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-9, Mark 9:2-8, Luke 9:28-36). Christ is represented by a golden cross on a starry blue background, while the three apostles who were present at the Transfiguration - Peter, James and John - are represented by lambs. Flanking the cross against a backdrop of golden skies and sunset-tinged clouds are figurative depictions of Moses and Elijah, labeled with their names.

The large cross is decorated with mosaic gems and a bust of Christ in the center. It has a Latin inscription at its base reading SALVS MVNDI, "Salvation of the World" and a Greek inscription at the top: IX?YC. This means "fish" in Greek and is also an anagram of the names of Christ: Jesus Christ Son of God Savior."

Below this scene is the namesake of the basilica, St. Apollinaris, labeled with the inscription SANCTVS APOLENARIS. He wears a white dalmatic and purple tunic, the latter embroidered with bees to symbolize eloquence. He is shown in prayer, interceding on behalf of his flock who are represented below by lambs. This is the first known example of choosing a subject other than Christ in Majesty for the apse decoration.

Around the saint is a soft green backdrop populated with rocks, birds, and plants. Among the greenery are pine trees, which can still be seen growing outside the church.

The back wall of the apse between the windows bears mosaic portraits of four Ravenna bishops: Severus, Ecclesius, Ursus and Ursicinus.

The mosaics on the side walls of the apse date from the 7th century. The left wall of the presbytery shows Emperor Constantine IV Pogonatus and his brothers Heraclius and Tiberius handing the "Priviliges" to Reparatus, delegate of Bishop Maurus (671-77).

The right wall shows three Old Testament figures who made sacrifices to God: Abel with his perfect lamb, Melchizadek at a table with his bread, and Abraham with his son Isaac. The theme of sacrifice is related to the Eucharist, which was performed at the high altar beneath the mosaic.


SANCTUS APOLENARIS, we read in the center of the apse. A solemn inscription which transmits its capital meaning in capital letters. Thus sanctus Vitalis in S. Vitale: titles and figures, somehow central, but the pregnancy of ancient hagiographic devotion is greatly surpassed in the polysymbolism. In fact the true centre of this ecclesiastic basilica, which was intended to serve for the celebration of the Eucharist, is occupied by one of the most splendid (if not the most splendid) theophanies of Christian antiquity: the great symbolic transfiguration which, a robust treatise of symbolic-mystical theology, occupies the whole apse vault. The glorious cross of the resurrection (metamorphosis of the execution-cross of Golgotha) stands in a dominant position and represents Christ himself, protagonist of the transfiguration. The sheep on the right of the Cross (Christ's right) is Peter, the first disciple.

There follow, on the left, another two sheep: James and John. Whereas the two prophets Moses and Elijah (representing the Law and the Prophets) are portrayed in busts. Moses, on Christ's right, is beardless (because he is a prototype of Christ) while Elijah is on the left (Cf. Mark 9, 2-13).

One who interpreted the Cross and the Prophets in an exclusively eschatological sense (E. Dinkler) admitted finding difficulty in explaining the presence of Apollinare, and even more that of the hand of the Father which appears in the golden sky high above the cross. But if the transfiguration is interpreted as a symbol of Easter, and Easter as an offering, a sacrifice, Holy Communion of the Lamb (and of the Cross), we can better explain how the hand of the Father receives the eucharistic sacrifice (the Mass): a Sacrifice offered for the church and the community of the faithful of the Bishop Pastore Sacerdos who is S. Apollinare. In fact the twelve sheep which, six to a side, go towards Pastor Apollinare represent the church of Ravenna which shares in celebration of the Mass and in response to Apollinare's "Mystery of the Faith!" sings, "We announce your death Lord; we proclaim your resurrection; in awaiting your coming." There is eschatology in this awaiting, but all the rest is what went before: Passion, Death and Resurrection at Easter. The four bishops in the four spaces between the windows should be interpreted in this way, that is to say, in the ecclesiastic and eucharistic sense. Founders of churches (the very first, small and no longer extant sanctus Severus; the cathedral sanctus Ursus; S. Vitale Ecclesius, S. Apollinare in Classe Urcinus) they are the historical sup

first communion table decorations

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