Traditionally, flowers are used to decorate the church at Easter time. They are a strong symbol of resurrection, especially as Easter comes in the springtime in the Northern Hemisphere. The arrival of the first flower, breaking through the winter darkness, is always seen as a herald to the coming of spring and new birth.
Before purchasing the flowers invite the flower arrangers together to make a plan. The flowers will have a far greater impact if they are colour co-ordinated. Traditionally the colour used for celebration in the church is white; to this can be added yellows and light oranges. If different people arrange the flowers let them all know what the colour scheme is to be.
If there are to be arrangements throughout the church building think about a scheme that runs from the back of the church to the altar. At the back there can be dark oranges, reds and yellows. As the arrangements progress through the church towards the altar the colours can gradually change to lighter oranges and yellows, and at the altar there can be light yellows, creams and white. These flowers can reflect the colours of the rising sun. If the church has pillars use plain fabric to hang down them in the same colours as the flowers. The flowers and the fabric will re-enforce the theme of the rising sun.
Find out if the church is going to be decorated with banners or an altar frontal and see if the flowers can link in with them. The shape of the arrangements can be designed to fit with the shape of the design on the frontal (see Shaping Flower Arrangements in How to Make).
If your church does not have much money for flowers try to access a source of greenery. If arrangements can include greenery the numbers of flowers needed is greatly reduced. Artificial flowers used with real flowers and greenery can be very effective. Collect some artificial flowers, but always make sure they are seasonal. Daffodils in mid-summer will stand out like a sore thumb, but used in the spring will look entirely in place. Always remember that garden flowers can be very effective and cost nothing. ‘Wild’ flowers can also be very effective. Cow parsley, buttercups and daisies can make a wonderful display, but always check that you are allowed to pick them.
It can be fun to put some Easter symbols in the flower arrangements. It is possible to buy plastic eggs which look very realistic. These can be put onto sticks and put in the arrangements. If plastic eggs are not available use chicken eggs. It is not difficult to blow them. They can also be fixed onto sticks if a small hole is made in the top. Butterflies fixed onto sticks can also be very effective. There are some very beautiful ones made from feathers that are available in the shops or make some with coloured card.
The Paschal Candle
Using the same colour scheme decorate the Paschal Candle with flowers. The lighting of the new Paschal Candle is an important symbolic moment in the church calendar.
Alleluia. Christ is risen! He is risen indeed. Alleluia!
See Gallery Photos.