Parament Types and How to Take Measurements for Them

Posted by Anna Johnson on May 2, 2018 9:00:00 AM

paramentsCarpenters often say measure twice, cut once. With paraments, it’s measure twice and order once! Correctly measuring your church’s altar for paraments is essential in making sure the paraments lay smoothly and look good. Here is a guide to the different types of paraments and how to take measurements for them.

Before we begin, keep in mind that there are three finishing options for the part of a parament that covers the top surface of the altar (the “depth”). These apply to frontals, superfrontals, antependia, and frontlets:

  • Use the same material on the altar top as used on the drop (the part that hangs down the front of the altar).
  • Use a less-expensive, white fabric on the altar top.
  • Order the parament with a drop only. In this case, the parament would attach to the front edge of the altar.

 

Frontals & Superfrontals

These paraments cover the front edge of the altar and hang down about 12". The parament can also cover the entire top surface of the altar if you prefer.

Frontal

Measurements to Gather:

  1. Width: Measure the entire top of the altar from left to right.
  2. Depth: Measure the entire top of the altar from front to back if you want the parament to cover this surface.
  3. Drop: The parament should hang about 12" from the top of the altar, including the fringe if applicable. Measure from the top edge of the altar toward the floor, stopping where the bottom of the fabric’s hem will be.

 

Altar Antependia

This parament covers the center portion of the altar’s top surface and hangs down most of the front.

Antependia

Measurements to Gather:

  1. Width: Because this parament does not cover the entire top of the altar, you can choose the width that best suits your furniture. Measure the top of the altar from left to right, depending on how wide you want the parament to be.
  2. Depth: Measure the entire top of the altar from front to back if you want the parament to cover this surface.
  3. Drop: This parament has a very large drop. The length of the drop is your choice; measure from the top of the altar toward the floor. Take into consideration the shape of the symbol that may appear on the parament; adjust your measurement appropriately to ensure a balanced design.

 

Frontlets

This parament is a narrow strip of fabric that falls down the front of the altar. Frontlets are generally used in pairs. Because the parament is long and narrow, a portrait-shaped symbol is the best option.

Frontlets

Measurements to Gather:

  1. Width: Since this parament does not cover the entire top of the altar, you can choose the width that best suits your furniture. Measure the top of the altar from left to right, depending on how wide you want each parament to be.
  2. Depth: Measure the entire top of the altar from front to back if you want the parament to cover this surface.
  3. Drop: The length of this parament is your choice. Measure from the top of the altar toward the floor.

 

Pulpit and lectern falls

Pulpit and Lectern Falls

This parament hangs down the front of the pulpit or lectern. It can cover the desktop portion of the furniture, or it can attach at the edge of the furniture and have a drop only. The entire length of the parament is made of the drop fabric.

Measurements to Gather:

  1. Width: Some churches prefer to expose some of the furniture’s woodwork, while others like the parament to cover the entire width. Measure the top of the pulpit or lectern from left to right, depending on how wide you want the parament to be. Consider any lights or microphones that will keep the fabric from lying flat.
  2. Depth: Measure the desktop surface of the pulpit or lectern, from the front to the point where a book will lay.
  3. Drop: The length of the parament is your choice. Include the fringe in your measurement, if applicable. Measure how far down the fabric should fall from the top of the pulpit or lectern toward the floor.

Bookmark

 

Bookmark

The bookmark, also called a Bible marker, is a narrow parament usually hanging down the front of the lectern. It may be used alone or with a lectern fall. The symbol is positioned just above the hem. The standard size for a bookmark is 3½" x 36", but you can customize the size of yours.

Measurements to Gather:

  1. Width: Measure part of the top of the lectern from left to right, depending on how wide you want the parament to be.
  2. Drop: Measure how far down the parament should fall from the top of the lectern toward the floor.

Looking to replace your church’s paraments? View a free sample packet to see all the parament options CPH offers.

View Parament Guide

Tags: Paraments