There is a liturgical tradition in the church: no flowers on the altar from Ash Wednesday until Easter (or maybe Palm Sunday). This makes floral beauty with which we adorn the sanctuary one of the things we give up for Lent.
I invoked that tradition by donating “wilderness plants” for the chancel for these Sundays of Lent. It wasn’t really that I was so against flowers in the Sanctuary during this season of penitence. Old First is a sort of relaxed place where hard and fast rules don’t always fare so well.
I laughingly dedicate them to all who will dedicate flowers in the future. More seriously, they are dedicated to people who are raising their hands and volunteering to start up and take on new ministries around Old First. But ultimately, they are dedicated to all of you.
Anyway, my point was not to save us from the sin of flowers during Lent, so much as to draw our attention to a new Flowers Ministry Team. So, to get your attention, I have donated “wilderness plants” for the chancel during these Lenten Sundays.
What are “wilderness plants?” Well, plants you might see in the wilderness where Jesus was driven to face 40 days of temptation before he began his ministry.
In this case, they are pencil succulent plants. I am hoping after the season to take them home and tend them, so that next Lent we will have huge succulents in the chancel. (They are supposed to be pretty fast growers!) And it’s greener not to just use plants in the chancel one Sunday and throw them out!
The real point is to get our attention. Our old system for getting flower dedications for the chancel wasn’t working very well. Then it broke down completely. Often of late, we have not had flowers in church on Sunday. And that leaves our sanctuary looking a bit more bare. It also takes away an opportunity for us to give thanks for people– dedicating flowers in loving memory of those who have passed and in honor of those still alive.
Val S. and Robyn G. have volunteered to form a Flower Ministry Team. They will be meeting soon to figure out the details– where we will get the flowers, how people will sign-up for Sundays, etc. Look for more information in the next few weeks. They hope to be up and running the Sunday after Easter (April 15). Are there “red letter dates” and important people you want to sign up to remember with flowers?