Using Seasonal Local Flora in Church

(see bottom of post for explanation of photo)

 
If possible, I think it is a good thing to use local herbage to decorate the church – whatever is in season. Sometimes due to drought, other weather issues, or the season of the year one may have to supplement with something grown somewhere else. Historically one could not run down to the local florist to get a bunch of carnations.

Last year and this year I used azaleas for the Sunday of the Cross. They bloomed a tad early this year and were past their peak (to say the least) when I gathered them to decorate the cross. I did the best I could, but by Wednesday this week they were absolutely dead. Awful. All except the mock orange blossoms of which there were a few scattered throughout. They were as fresh as the moment I picked them.

I didn’t take pictures of this year’s cross at the beginning of the week, but this is what I did last year:

Sunday of the Cross, 2011

For the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross (September 14th), I had to hunt around a bit. You can click on the photo below to enlarge it and see what I had available. I used the last of those indefatigable zinnias.

Exaltation of the Holy Cross, 2010

For Christmas around these parts we have white camellias, nandinas (the red berries) and cedar.

Christmas, 2010

We also have magnolia leaves.
Christmas, 2010

At our old house we had a cedar tree in the side yard and holly in front of the house. 
(I don’t have a picture of the holly.)

Christmas, 2009

So that brings us to today. You may notice that something critical is missing in the photo below (the cross) but it will be put in place once the flowers are brought to church. The cross will be taken back into the altar today so this effort was for one day. The mock orange blossoms are lovely although it does make it look rather resurrectional. (: I used new-growth box around the perimeter.

I almost hated to cut the flowers today because they’re so lovely on the bush. They remind me of Innocent since they were blooming when we buried him and I gathered some for a bouquet for his grave. We’re back to that time of year again. He died around today or tomorrow, a year ago. On March 31st it will have been a year since we found out he had departed this life and his first birthday will be on April 10th. The closest I can come to giving him these flowers is to place them around the cross of Christ, at whose feet he is kneeling.

Sunday of the Cross, 2012

Sunday of the Cross, 2012

7 thoughts on “Using Seasonal Local Flora in Church

  1. Beautiful photos. When I'm asked my favorite flower, I always pause because I love flowers as their season arrives, and they bloom. I love daffodils as they herald spring, I love roses when we start into summer, I love the late summer burst of hydrangeas, the gladiolas that shoot up around my birthday (the end of August) the flaming color of leaves, etc.

    This post really sums up how this is lived in our parishes and our faith. Beautiful.

    Hugs to you on this difficult anniversary. May Innocent's Memory be Eternal.

    Like

  2. Wow. So beautiful. And I love 2012 Cross pictures. I was struck this year how the hymns for the Sunday of the Cross already speak of the resurrection… I feel the hope in just seeing these pictures; thank you.

    May God remember Innocent in His Kingdom!

    Like

  3. All so beautiful–the Lord provides so many different flowers and even the flower of a weed can be beautiful-thanks so much for sharing-
    Have been thinking about you and know that this is a sad “season.”-but for us, not Innocent-
    mom

    Like

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