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Altar Cloth (Vozdukh)
COVERINGS AND HANGINGS
Altar Coverings and Hangings
Velvet, silk, gold-wrapped silk thread, silver-wrapped silk thread, cotton, gilt spangles, canvas, gesso
H. 21 in., W. 28 1/2 in.
In the Russian Orthodox Church, altar cloths cover chalices and dishes used for Holy Communion. Covering these vessels emphasizes the sacredness of the consecrated Eucharistic gifts of wine and bread. This altar cloth is placed over smaller altar cloths during parts of the liturgy. When the creed is sung, the priest gently lifts this cloth up and down as a symbol of the grace-giving action of the Holy Spirit.
Bequest of Marjorie Merriweather Post, 1973
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