Sit & Stitch
Being comforted by the prayers of the people of St. Paul’s is a blissful experience, and our Prayer Shawl ministry takes that comfort even further. Knitters and crocheters provide warmth and peace through beautiful, cozy prayer shawls, which are blessed in prayer while being made and also blessed by the clergy of St. Paul’s before being distributed to those in need. Our priests and Stephen Ministers offer these handmade shawls to those in need of comfort and a warm embrace. Every prayer shawl is a gift of love, given as reminder that there is always someone praying for us, thinking of us, and loving us.
Prayer shawls can be knitted, crocheted, or woven. The result should be a particularly soft and soothing rectangle, reaching a length of approximately 72 inches and 24 inches in width, and without fringe, knots, or tassels. You may be a “tight knitter” or a “loose crocheter.” That is okay! All shawls will be unique, some tight, some loose, but all beautiful and a source of comfort.
We recommend bulky yarn so your project will work up quickly, however, if you have the time and/or already own a lovely light or medium weight yarn that you want to use, your offerings are always appreciated. You can use any stitches you like.
Ravelry.com is a great resource for prayer shawl patterns. Here is an easy knit/crochet pattern:
Yarn: (3-5 skeins of bulky yarn)
· for knitters approximately 555-750 yd
· for crocheters approximately 750 yd
Recommended brand: Lion Brand Homespun
O Love Divine, Giver and Gift,
We thank you for the many times you take the tangled threads of our lives and create a thing of beauty.
Help us to do the same for others, here, or near, or worlds away, symbolically, yet tangibly,through the gift of our hearts and hands.
Infuse this shawl with a blessing that will always be present, always be felt as comforting, all-encompassing love proportionate to one’s need.
We send sustaining strength this day to those who are crushed in spirit, wherever they may be.
May blessings abound to and through all who are knit together in this ministry of love. Amen.
— Miriam Therese Winter
Before You Begin:
Because this is a spiritual practice, before you begin the creating process, the prayer above or another prayer of your choosing can be said, dedicating the work of your hands and the intentions of heart toward the recipient of your gift. You may want to light a candle and play soft music to enhance your knitting/crocheting time. Of course, you may also be watching television or traveling in the car. Just remember that the gift of our time and talents is infused in our work and freely offered with love.
When You Are Finished:
Blocking your finished shawl is recommended (rinsing and then laying flat.) It will drape better! Here is a prayer for you upon completion:
Dear Heavenly Father, be with the person who will wear this prayer shawl. Comfort and console this person as you hold him or her in your healing presence. May this shawl be a sign of your love and grace. May it bring warmth and solace to the weary. May it surround the person with love to ease their pain and suffering. O Christ, in your mercy, be with doctors, nurses, aides, and all who care for the sick. May your strong touch reach out to heal all the broken and hurting people and places in our world. I ask your blessing upon this prayer shawl and upon the person who will wear it, in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
You can bring your completed shawl to the church and leave in the workroom or give directly to Monna Mayhall.
Thank you for the offering of your time and talents for this important ministry at St. Paul’s and for your kindness and generosity in giving solace to someone who needs it.
Need some help?
Here are few ladies from St. Paul’s that are experienced knitters, crocheters, and weavers. If you get stuck, or have a question, call one of the following:
Knitting, Crocheting, and Weaving: Sarah Webster (615) 878-4210
Knitting and Weaving: Lucinda Harshey (615) 891-0891
Knitting and Weaving: Ruth Travis (615) 972-0250