Liturgical Art for the Epiphany Season

Trinity Lutheran Church
Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Praise the Lord, all you nations;
extol him, all you peoples.
For great is his love toward us,
and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
bring an offering and come into his courts. (Ps. 117; 96.8)


Epiphany highlights our responsibility to extend Christ's kingdom through 'mission', and is a 'Green' season, a color of symbolic growth. The chancel hangings reflect this emphasis; the flowers reference world-wide blooms.


The hangings were made using a variety of accessible, commonplace materials including yarn, glue, and paint. Naomi Pfeil, an Ecclesiastical Art major at Concordia University, Seward, Nebraska, completed them for a mid-semester Art practicum with Karen Godecke.

The 'star-cross' white and green altar frontals are a reminder to 'show forth' the Gospel and love in Jesus' Name, to all corners of the earth.

These altar frontals are designed from a basic 'hibiscus log cabin' pattern that is foundation-pieced, and are finished as paraments.

A green pastoral stole with a rainbow of color conveys the theme of Gospel outreach and inclusiveness; also foundation-pieced, this process is accessible to sewers of all skill levels.

Available materials and processes can be used to ascribe to the Lord ...'the glory due his name'!

Serving through Art for Worship,

Karen Godecke
Liturgical Artist


Faith - Seals

Christmas, 2015
Trinity Lutheran Church
Cedar Rapids, IA

Martin Luther designed his 'faith-seal' nearly 500 years ago. HIs idea was modified so all church members could participate in 'community-made Art for Worship', and design their individual seal in the following way: A mandala coloring book with thirty designs was adapted by adding center hearts and crosses. These were printed on blue, green, yellow, pink, beige and gray card stock.

Multi-age members of Trinity Lutheran Church, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, were asked to add their own color combinations using crayons, which gave the designs a shiny, bold surface. The faith-seals were then cut out, and various colors of tulle/net were added to create a textured circumference, and buttons were sewn in the design-centers. The seals were shaped into concave forms and stapled. A simple card stock hanger was added to the back of each design, for hanging.

Approximately ninety faith-seals were hung on the chancel Christmas tree, and on three-foot vertical panels in the nave. The lights on the Christmas tree created a 'net-glow' around each seal, which added to their beauty and meaning!

Let the Peace of Christ rule in your hearts... (Col 3:15)
at Christmas, and always!

Serving through Art for Worship,
Karen Godecke
Liturgical Artist



Art for Worship

The Doederlein Gallery

Saint Luke Lutheran Church,
Chicago, Illinois


Liturgical Artist Karen Godecke puts finishing touches on this exhibit of Altar Frontals, Stoles, and community-made hangings in the Doederlein Gallery, at St. Luke Church, Chicago., from October 4 through November 15, 2015.


The Doederlein Gallery provides fifty-two running feet of excellent church-Art exhibition space, with a variety of regularly scheduled Art.


Thank you to the people of St. Luke, and in particular, to Laura Abrahamson, for this special exhibition opportunity!

Serving, through Art for Worship,

Karen Godecke

Liturgical Artist


The Time of the Church - Green Season

Branches-Of-Praise Chancel Hangings

Cedar Rapids, IA

Branches-of-Praise are an appropriate visual faith expression for the Green season of the Church year.  A metaphor for The Body of Believers, branches grow and bear fruit,  rooted in Jesus Christ, The True Vine.  When hung on each side of a church chancel, they form an implied arc-of-praise over the altar.

I am the vine, you are the branches.
If a man remains in me and I in him,
he will bear much fruit; apart from me
you can do nothing.
Love each other as I have loved you.  Jn 15:5,12

These two 12' x 3' Liturgical hangings reflect several layered mixed media techniques:  The branch-stems are spray-painted stencil-grids of triangle-shapes.  The leaves inside the oval-arcs are stencil-shapes that have been colored in various hues of oil-pastel; smaller 'negative' shapes were cut out of the leaves, giving them greater texture as well as allowing the contrasting green cloth underneath to show through.


Those who are planted in the house of the Lord
shall flourish in the courts of our God;
they shall still bear fruit in old age;
they shall be green and succulent,
that they may show how upright the Lord is,
my rock, in whom there is no injustice.  Ps 92:12-15

The text within the branch-design functions several ways; Scriptural text arcs over each stem-extension, uniformly, creating a delicate lacy texture, with spots of color that look like small-bud-flowers. The viewer is drawn closer, recognizing words that enrich the meaning of this Branch-of-Praise symbol.  The text reads from the left hanging-top-down, to the right hanging-top-down.


Christ the shoot that springs triumphant,
from the stump of Jesse's tree;
Christ, true vine, you nurture branches
To bear fruit abundantly.
Graft us into you, O Savior;
Prune our hearts so we remain
fruitful branches in your vineyard....

#540, v. 3, Lutheran Service Book,
Text:  Steven P. Mueller

Serving through Art for Worship,

Karen Godecke
Liturgical Artist


The Day of Pentecost

Liturgical Art Installation

Saint Luke Lutheran Church,
Chicago, Illinois

On this festival day, worshipers entered the sanctuary passing near the Baptismal font space, marked by The Spirit;
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of the faithful, and kindle in them the fire of your love. Alleluia. (Antiphon)

Let the name of the Lord be praised, both now and forevermore.
From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets
the name of the Lord is to be praised. Ps. 113

All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues. Acts 2:4


The chancel Holy Spirit-flames were made from regular hardware store screening that was spray-painted orange, red and gold, for a warm glowing effect. Cut paper flame details were also glued on the outside of various multi-sized screen cylinders.


As an affirmation of faith and testimony to The Spirit, worshipers tied red ribbons on the St. Luke's Church fence, outside.

The Spirit of the Lord fills the world! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Thank you to Laura Abrahamson, Liturgical Artist at St. Luke's, for this inspirational example of excellence in whole-space Art for Worship installation!

Partnering in Service through Art for Worship,
Karen Godecke,
Liturgical Artist