Good Friday

Liturgical Art Installations


The white neo-gothic altar with statue of Jesus at Trinity Lutheran Church, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was draped in black fabric (18’ x 10’) to remember the suffering and death of Christ, and to dramatically convey the ultimate sacrifice of God’s Son; .”.The Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all”. Is. 53:6b. Six pillar candles (three on each side of the center drape) and the center Christ Candle were extinguished after each of the seven last words/phrases of Christ on the Cross were read in the worship service. The black felt floor drape extends down the chancel aisle to symbolize the sin of the world. The starkness of the chancel space, stripped bare except for altar and Christ Candle, in low light, heightens the meaning of Good Friday.


A stage and center gym floor area were prepared for Good Friday noon worship through a spartan but dramatic use of black and white, at Trinity Lutheran School, Cedar Rapids, Iowa; lengths of white paper on the back stage wall (11’ x 12’) were a backdrop for 6 media images projected during worship, above a black-covered altar-pall or ‘holy hill’ at center-stage-front.


A length of black felt extended from the altar-pall down the front edge of the stage to the gym floor, where an additional 50 foot aisle of black landscape fabric became a path for worshippers to walk on to reach their seats. The worshippers footprints on the ‘black path’ helped define the concept of ‘sin’: …”he (Christ) bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” Is. 53:12c


Serving through Art for Worship,

Karen Godecke,

Liturgical Artist


Lenten Devotional Cross Art

Trinity Lutheran Church,
Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Members of Trinity Lutheran Church, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, were asked to bring devotional crosses from their homes to be included in a set of chancel hangings for the Lenten season, with the stipulation that crosses be sturdy, ten inches or smaller in size, and weigh less than two pounds.


To prepare for the crosses-placement, purple nylon net was stencil spray-painted with ‘aura’ designs cut by Trinity Lutheran school children.  To make the nylon net sturdier, a length of black fiberglass window-screen was placed behind the purple net, and each cross was wired onto the net-screen backing.  A purple, black and red batik fabric was placed behind the net-screen, for added richness and to evoke the suffering and death of Christ on the Cross.


Lamb of God, pure and holy,
Who on the cross did suffer,
Ever patient and lowly,
Yourself to scorn did offer.

All things You bore for us,
Else had despair reigned o’er us:
Have mercy on us,
O Jesus!  O Jesus!


Serving through Art for Worship,

Karen Godecke Liturgical Artist


Advent into Christmas and Epiphany

Trinity Lutheran Church,
Cedar Rapids, Iowa



O Morning Star, how fair and bright!
You shine with God’s own truth and light,
Aglow with grace and mercy!
#395 LSB


Christ, our True Light, has come!


The heavens declare the glory of God,
And the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Psalm 19:1


Shower, O heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain down
Righteousness!  Isaiah 45:8

May the Peace of Christ our Savior, and the Heavenly Father’s Love,
And the Holy Spirit’s favor rest upon you from above!

Karen Godecke
Liturgical Artist


Advent at Trinity

Trinity Lutheran Church,
Cedar Rapids, Iowa


The season of Advent is here – our King is coming!  Prepare, and wait and anticipate in hope, as the deep, rich Blue Liturgical color of Advent reminds us!

The Advent chancel hangings reflect Old and New Testament references to the Son of God; the left hanging presents Isaiah and his prophecies (Is. 11:1-10, Is. 7:10, Is. 9:6, Is. 40:11), a branch from the root of Jesse, the child to be born, Immanuel, and peace on God’s holy mountain, where lion and lamb, cow and bear will coexist.  The Lord …”tends his flock, like a shepherd, gathering the lambs in his arms.”

 God’s messenger to Zechariah and Virgin Mary, the angel Gabriel, is the dominant figure in the right-side chancel hanging.  (Luke 1:11, 1:26, Matt: 3:1)  John the Baptist preached repentance, and prepared the way for Jesus, The Son of God, whose kingdom will never end!



The Advent-Blue Chasuble embodies dark-waiting-time, looking to The Savior.  Two star-clusters on the front mark the first two weeks of Advent.


The Blue Chasuble-back speaks ‘Come Lord Jesus’, while two star-clusters mark the final two weeks of Advent.


Come, be ready to meet The Savior as a child in the manger, and again, at his Second Coming, (through the ‘blue’ sky)!  

Amen. Come Lord Jesus!

Karen Godecke
Liturgical Artist


Green Vestments

for The Time of the Church,

Trinity Lutheran Church,
Cedar Rapids, Iowa

A Chasuble is a cape-like Liturgical vestment worn by the Celebrant during Holy Communion (or The Eucharist); it envelops the wearer in the seasonal Liturgical color and is easily seen and followed by worshipers during the Divine Service.  This center chasuble design of Cross and Branches is The Vine, (Christ), and the Branches, (the growing Church) of John 15.  The selective green hues function well in Trinity’s Neo-Gothic sanctuary.


Although the chasuble-back is symbol-free, the center hand-dyed, variegated green panel suggests active, living growth pertaining to Christian faith and the Time of the Church.


This stained glass window is located high above the chancel altar, and in reality presents a more generalized image of the white cross being surrounded by flowing, stalk-like olive green branches.  The greens to the right of the cross are the inspiration for the soft, medium-greens in the chasuble and stole.


A plain under-stole is typically worn under a chasuble; for these particular vestments, the ‘regular’ stole worn alone by the Pastor (over a white robe) is appropriate to be worn under the chasuble as well. The branches-design on the stole-shoulder and back effectively blend with the chasuble for additional rich texture and detail.


This stole is the same design as the previous stole-set presented in the Time of the Church Mount Carmel ArtNotes, but both stole-sets differ in their specific fabric shades and textures; each set is unique and functions effectively in particular sanctuary spaces.

Serving, through Art for Worship,

Karen Godecke
Liturgical Artist