I’m thinking ( rather belatedly in some ways!) about my ordination stole.. I’m collecting fabric scraps from friends & family to incorporate into the applique I want  on it – little bits of those I love and who have walked this journey thus far with me.

I had a return of a radical idea yesterday. In a box under my bed has been sat my wedding dress; for nearly 16 years it’s been folded up in tissue paper, and I think I’ve had it out and tried it on once – in between Kate & Charlie, when I knew I was back at my 1995 weight!

How about I use it to make my ordination stole?

Its  a gorgeous ivory dress, designed by me and made by the incomparable Clem, who was once my youth leader and who had rashly promised to make my wedding dress one day…

It has 3 layers of silk, a lining, a heavy crepe and a gorgeous figured chiffon.

Its beautiful and I love it, but I’m never going to wear it again, and my daughters have both admired it and said ” no I’d want my own”

Getting married and getting ordained have a lot of similarities, functional and ontological change, ceremony, vows, a change of title…. these and more!

What is more, the same white stole one wears to one’s Ordination will be the same one  one wears when officiating at weddings,  to use one made from my wedding dress to symbolically bind the hands of a newly married couple… well…

so I asked on Twitter ( after asking Mr F who was all for the idea…)

Here’s what I got

@fibrefairy do it do it do it :~)

@fibrefairy defo! Thinking about looking mine out! Maybe I could have a wedding stole. But I haven’t opened the bag it’s in for 16yrs!

@fibrefairy I find the idea very scary – ‘breaking’ something precious to make something else! My cowardice is not a reason against, though!

@fibrefairy yep, me in favour too, sounds great!

@fibrefairy N

@fibrefairy bit late coming to this one; but count me in as in favour. What a wonderful idea. Lovely.

@fibrefairy yes from me!

@fibrefairy oh yes! How lovely! Wish I’d thought of that.

@fibrefairy sounds a brill idea. Is a sacrifice too?

@fibrefairy wow what a cool idea. Assuming you can bear to sacrifice the dress. Lots of cool theological symbolism there too.#goforit

@fibrefairy YYYY!! 🙂

@fibrefairy using your wedding dress to make your stole sounds like a brilliant idea – go for it!

@fibrefairy Yes!

@fibrefairy personally no I wouldn’t – I’d want to keep it for your DDs and maybe future christening dresses – do you have any scraps left?

@fibrefairy Yes – the symbolism is lovely 🙂

@fibrefairy Y

@fibrefairy Definite yes!

@fibrefairy I wanted to do similar but never had the nerve…..could you use just a bit from the bottom/train??

@fibrefairy Y

17 in favour 2 against -the one against that gave reasons I can understand, but we have a family Baptism gown & the girls  have said  no thanks!

I’m left reflecting on what the reticence might be for some people, superstition? sentimentality? nostalgia? history? All of these come into it to an extent I think. I’ve been trying to think of how I’d react  if I was  my great granddaughter being shown my stole made from my wedding dress… I think its safe to say I’d find it extremely emotional and moving…

Interestingly there was a real mix of people responding, clergy and those who have no faith but ” got” the idea totally. I FB’d Clem too and she said go for it so today I got it out the box, tried to try it on (!!) and started to think about how to go about it.

Watch this space…


One Response to “Reimagining…”

  1. ramtopsrac Says:

    I’m glad you got such a overall positive response – but be warned… in the long run it might not be the only one as it looks like others might just pinch the idea! But the really special thing is that there would be only one of yours (unless you die strips to make a full set).

    I’m also really moved by the idea of using scraps of material donated by people who are special to you, or have been part of the journey. That also is something really important – it all says a lot about what’s going on inside you as you approach ordination.

    Looking forward to seeing the results – and hoping I might be there in person as normal there are several folk I know being ordained this year.

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