At Harvest Day on Saturday, 15 October, the gathered members of the Seminary Guild were pleasantly surprised to see a beautiful new piece of chancel furniture in the chapel. The Guild had voted last year to pay for a “credence table” to be built by the company that made the new baptismal font in 2021. Hearing of the project, Pastor David Zakel sent a few sketches to the Dean of Chapel and volunteered to build it in his workshop. The surprise came when he delivered the completed table just in time for Harvest Day.
A credence table is used to hold the Communion vessels, bread, and wine, before their use for the Lord’s Supper. The pastor may then take to the altar for consecration only as much bread and wine as is needed for the celebration, while having extra available on the credence table if he runs short. This traditional practice teaches the distinction between holy and common things and assists in a reverent practice of the Lord’s Supper. The table may also be used to hold the offering plates and a bowl for handwashing. It is helpful for the seminary chapel to be properly furnished as the students learn how to lead services.
Pastor Zakel serves Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Burlington, Ontario, and is a 2021 graduate of CLTS. In crafting the table he made use of oak from an old Communion rail from Trinity Lutheran Church, Floradale, Ontario, one of the founding congregations of the LCMS Ontario District. Trinity closed in 2004. The oak rail had been made by Arthur Ritter in memory of Alfred Ritter and installed in the old stone building in 1985. It was given to the District together with other sacred furnishings when the building was demolished. It is wonderful to be able to preserve its use for sacred purposes.
Much of the other furniture in the seminary chapel was handmade by church members, including flower stands by Carl Schweyer, a prie dieu (kneeling desk) and book stand made by Rev. Roger Paavola, hymn boards by Rev. Roger Winger, and a thurible hanger by Rev. David Zakel. These gifts are acts of thanks and praise to God, following a great biblical tradition going back to the Tabernacle.
The seminary and the Guild are likewise deeply thankful to Pastor Zakel for his fine work. And the seminary gives thanks to the members of the Guild for continuing to support the students with such gifts.