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Saturday 21st April 2002

TheMaolrubha Orphrey

Words by Michael Taylor

Pictures by Netta Ewing


At the Vigil Mass in Broadford, three members of the St. Albert's Embroiderers Guild, Glasgow (also known as The Sacred Threads Group) presented us with The Maolrubha Orphrey, a wonderful work which took 500 hours to make. To add to the significance of this gift, we received it on the Eve of the Feast of St. Maolrubha. The Orphrey was designed by Netta Ewing, DA Bed ADF(Manc) who gave a short talk on its symbolism. At the top right are the remains of standing stones that marked St. Maolrubha's Sanctuary at Applecross.


The Celtic Cross is only partially seen, obscured by the weathering of time, by the Hebridean mists and the fading memories of the antiquity of our ancient past. Lower down, in reds, celtic sources are again recalled by patterns inspired by the carpet pages of The Book of Durrow written and illuminated at Iona perhaps c.680 during St. Maolrubha's lifetime. Netta Ewing was accompanied by the two embroiderers who made the Orphrey, Nancy Girvan and Lillian Burns. Fr. James MacNeil and Michael Taylor gave short talks of thanks and appreciation.