Monday, February 2, 2009

Fun and Fancy Folds - Napkin Folding for Feast Days

Napkins, a functional part of every meal, can be folded into fanciful forms to become a joyful addition to your table and feast day meal. There are numerous napkin folding styles that could be used to represent symbols of saints or liturgical seasons. Especially for those days when you don’t have the time to prepare any feast oriented foods to serve, this can be an easy and appealing way to dress up the feast day table. Folding napkins need not be a time consuming chore, but a quick and enjoyable experience with dramatic results. It’s a great hands-on project for the children. When getting started it's helpful to know that cotton and linen napkins hold a better crease. Polyester blends require less care but do not hold a crease well.

Take today for example – the Feast of the Presentation or Candlemas. Need a last minute addition to help the feast day have some visual appeal? – there are several different napkin folds reminiscent of tapers or candles:

Pictured here are the “Candlestick” or “Candle” style on the left, and Nightlight” on the right. You can link to a tutorial of the “Candlestick” here and “Nightlight” here.

This idea – which, for lack of a better description, I have been referring to as liturgical napkin folding, holds much promise . There are so many ideas and there is much that could be done with it if you are so inclined. Even if there is not a particular shape we can fold to fit the feast day as a symbol, there are many folds that will enclose a favor that can be used to tuck a holy card, or flower, or other seasonal token inside to remind us of the focus of the feast day. Another simple idea like varying the napkin colors, even if not folded at all, can tie in the liturgical seasons - Purple in Advent and Lent, Red for Pentecost, the Passion, or Martyrs’ feasts, White (or Gold) for the feast of Our Lord, Blue (or White) to honor Our Lady’s feasts, Green in Ordinary Time. You can also stick to simple folds or rolled napkins and dress those up with napkin rings that tie into the feasts and seasons. I have lots of ideas and will be sharing those with you in upcoming posts.

****And I know I am posting this late this afternoon, so if you don’t see this in time for Candlemas don’t fret, the candle napkins would be perfect again tomorrow, February 3, for the feast of St. Blase.
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