Christ has risen! Alleluia! Praise God!
We’ve entered the season called Eastertide. It is the 50 days from Easter to Pentecost. Eastertide may also be called the Easter season. The season includes seven Sunday with Easter Sunday as the first Sunday of the Easter season.
Like Christmastide (the season from Christmas to Ephiphany), the liturgical color for Eastertide is white and gold. Gold represents the gift of gold given to Christ by the Magi. Gold and white also symbolize purity and holiness, divine illumination, the light of Heaven, and the Incarnation of God.
A few times now, I have blogged about vestments (robes and stoles) and paraments (table cloths and pulpit/lectern banners). The colors and symbols represent a great wealth of symbolism and meaning for the day or season.
The stole I wore for Easter and will wear through Eastertide is white and gold. The material is a tapestry of flowers, grapes, lambs, and the Christogram IHS. The flowers are like the flowers of Spring which are to us the new life that bursts forth as the sun shines and the rains come. The grapes are the fruit of the vine we share each Sunday at the Lord’s Supper. The lamb was eaten by the Hebrews at the Passover Meal and was an animal often sacrificed to God – Jesus is called the Lamb of God.
A Christogram is simply a monogram of Jesus Christ. You might recognize the Chi-Rho, X R, which are the first two Greek letters of Cristos meaning Christ. The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) calls their middle school youth groups Chi-Rho. Another common Christogram is the Iota-Eta-Sigma, I H S. These are the first three Greek letters of Jesus. Some have suggested IHS means In His Service. The Roman church has made some connection between its original meaning and possible Latin acrostic. The Church may have found some connections, but either In His Service or Latin acrostics are not the original intention of the Christogram.
May God’s gift of light from Heaven shine within your heart,