Chinese Canopy at the Lord’s Table

A Chinese Protestant æsthetic has a lot of opportunity for expressive decoration that promotes biblical reflection on the things done in church.

I’m imagining a Chinese ciborium over the Lord’s Table, at which each of the four posts is a tree, and the column’s bracketing is the tree’s branches, and the leaves are (as St John says) for the healing of the nations. On each tree trunk is a carved dragon-seraph in relief, outlined by gold or mother-of-pearl inlay, with the face of a man, a lion, an ox, or an eagle (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John). The canopy’s pinnacle is in the form of a pearl, the pearl of great price that is the gospel. The altar rail has opportunities for motifs as well: lingzhi for immortality, pomegranates for the blood of abundant martyrs and the resurrection.

Now you just need infinite money to also commission gorgeous pieces of the finest Chinese brocade and embroidery for richly symbolic altar frontals.

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