Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Group Writing April: Easter Flowers

 

Years ago, my daughter asked for us to join our parish’s Altar Rosary Society, which is a group of parishioners who clean the church, launder the altar linens, straighten up the pews and, at Easter and Christmas, we decorate the church. For Christmas, there are poinsettias and ropes of evergreen garlands. Usually for Easter, there are dozens of lilies and hyacinths and daffodils and other beautiful spring flowers to adorn the altar and the statues of Mary and the saints, filling the church with their heavenly smell.

Tomorrow, the day before Palm Sunday, is usually the day we get out our buckets and clean all the wood in the church, and give the whole building an extra-special cleaning for Easter. As everyone knows, Murphy’s Oil is the smell of “clean.”

A week from tomorrow is Holy Saturday, the holiest day of the Christian calendar because it contains the Easter Vigil, the highlight of the liturgical year. After the Tenebrae service that morning, the Society gets all the flowers from the parish office and sets them in place. We use pictures from previous years to help make sure we are doing it right, the cleaning crews which clean together every six weeks get to see all the other crews and it is always a fun time.

This morning, after a stressful run to the grocery store, I stopped by the church to drop some items off for the food pantry and to pray in the quiet church, which remains open, even though there is no public liturgy available. Being a Catholic church, it is never empty (except on Good Friday when the Tabernacle is emptied), and He was with me as I knelt in the darkness.

It hit me with stunning force as I prayed. There will be no group cleaning tomorrow, although there are notices on the doors that the church is being disinfected regularly. There will be no sharing Murphy’s Oil and buckets and cleaning cloths and gossip. There will be no laughter next week as people scurry to and fro carefully placing the delicious-smelling plants. There will be no flowers for Easter.

Published in Group Writing
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

There are 12 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. EODmom Coolidge

    As the sanctuary is open, might you and the other flower guild women who choose, choose to pray while adorning the sanctuary with flowers regardless? Even if done individually and at diffeeent times? Now that you’ve written, I think I’ll let our priest know I will be bringing some flowers. When I stop by to pray. Easter will come. 

    • #1
    • April 3, 2020, at 10:49 AM PDT
    • 12 likes
  2. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    My mother loves to tell about the woman in charge of the flowers at her church who was very very careful the afternoon before the Easter Vigil, making sure each plant was displayed to perfection, spending at least a full hour tweaking everything on the altar to her satisfaction.

    The Easter Vigil Mass starts outside the church, as the priest lights a sacred fire and then the Paschal Candle. The whole congregation waits in darkness, and then all light candles from the Paschal flame, and then eventually the lights come back up and the Mass gets under way.

    The priest told the altar boys to remove all the plants before Mass began, and bring them back in right before the lights came up. They did not take the same care arranging the display.

    The poor woman’s shock and horror was audible to everyone, and she nearly had a conniption right there at the Vigil…

    • #2
    • April 3, 2020, at 10:52 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  3. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    EODmom (View Comment):
    As the sanctuary is open, might you and the other flower guild women who choose, choose to pray while adorning the sanctuary with flowers regardless? Even if done individually and at diffeeent times?

    Possibly, I saw some lillies at the supermarket this morning, but I don’t know where they usually get them all from.

    We’re not supposed to coordinate any gatherings, so I’m not sure…

    I like the idea of buying several and just putting them there next Saturday. Thanks for the inspiration. 

    • #3
    • April 3, 2020, at 10:54 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  4. RushBabe49 Thatcher

    Easter will come. God will be with you all.

    Keep the Faith. Literally, this year.

    • #4
    • April 3, 2020, at 11:06 AM PDT
    • 11 likes
  5. EODmom Coolidge

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad (View Comment):

    EODmom (View Comment):
    As the sanctuary is open, might you and the other flower guild women who choose, choose to pray while adorning the sanctuary with flowers regardless? Even if done individually and at diffeeent times?

    Possibly, I saw some lillies at the supermarket this morning, but I don’t know where they usually get them all from.

    We’re not supposed to coordinate any gatherings, so I’m not sure…

    I like the idea of buying several and just putting them there next Saturday. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Flower guild usually buys from a commercial distributor but no telling how that’s working now. Our larger supermarkets are still stocking flowers and I imagine they have Easter flowers on order. I’ll go in and grab whatever is there and is fragrant and beautiful and bring in. I have always liked the flowered cross the best anyway – all the little blossoms brought from home gardens. Lovingly brought and prayerfully placed in the sanctuary. Feeling more like Easter already. Thank you.

    • #5
    • April 3, 2020, at 11:12 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  6. RightAngles Member

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad (View Comment):

    The priest told the altar boys to remove all the plants before Mass began, and bring them back in right before the lights came up. They did not take the same care arranging the display.

    The poor woman’s shock and horror was audible to everyone, and she nearly had a conniption right there at the Vigil…

    Men!

    • #6
    • April 3, 2020, at 12:19 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  7. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I stuck a hyacinth from Easter last year (not a church flower, one of my own flowers) in the ground and it’s growing beautifully in my side yard:

    • #7
    • April 4, 2020, at 11:55 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  8. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    My grandma had Easter lilies that bloomed this time of year. 

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad (View Comment):

    EODmom (View Comment):
    As the sanctuary is open, might you and the other flower guild women who choose, choose to pray while adorning the sanctuary with flowers regardless? Even if done individually and at diffeeent times?

    Possibly, I saw some lillies at the supermarket this morning, but I don’t know where they usually get them all from.

    We’re not supposed to coordinate any gatherings, so I’m not sure…

    I like the idea of buying several and just putting them there next Saturday. Thanks for the inspiration.

    We have been forbidden from gathering in large groups and cannot enter the church. But in many areas we remain free to visit the church grounds outside. My priest came outside to hand me a prayer guide when he spotted me walking our exterior Stations of the Cross (we have them inside as well). 

    It would be great to come individually to lay flowers around our chapels on Easter morning. It reminds me of Therese the Little Flower.

    • #8
    • April 4, 2020, at 12:04 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  9. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    My parish has taken inspiration from a suggestion on social media that, in lieu of Palm Sunday mass, we can adorn our home doorways with palm leaves or whatever greenery is available. 

    Any suggestions for lockdown Easter egg hunts or other Easter activities for kids?

    • #9
    • April 4, 2020, at 12:23 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  10. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    My parish has taken inspiration from a suggestion on social media that, in lieu of Palm Sunday mass, we can adorn our home doorways with palm leaves or whatever greenery is available.

    Any suggestions for lockdown Easter egg hunts or other Easter activities for kids?

    catholictothemax.org is giving away blessed palms for shipping costs. Check the website. I ordered mine! (They also have great hats and t-shirts and other things.)

    • #10
    • April 4, 2020, at 12:28 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  11. EODmom Coolidge

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    My parish has taken inspiration from a suggestion on social media that, in lieu of Palm Sunday mass, we can adorn our home doorways with palm leaves or whatever greenery is available.

    Any suggestions for lockdown Easter egg hunts or other Easter activities for kids?

    Do you suppose boxwood will work? Not much else green here in NH yet. I’ll clip a bunch to put up. I like it! 

    • #11
    • April 4, 2020, at 1:54 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  12. Clifford A. Brown Contributor

    The loss of this annual ritual, an occasion for fellowship tying a small group together over the generations, is real, as will be the unprecedented (?) wholesale cancellation or outright banning of Easter, Pasha, and Passover services.

    Please stop by the April group writing sign up sheet, with the broad theme “April Flowers.” Yes, it is April showers and May flowers in the old rhyme, and I’ve linked the two with good cause in this particular spring season. If you have a thought on work, we still have some openings in March, so you are welcome to make however brief a post and I will be happy to link it against a past open day, capturing your thoughts into the easily searchable theme. Tired of binge watching your streaming service? Cast an eye back across the wide range of different, delightful, and downright entertaining and informative past contributions. See the handy compendium of monthly themes. Check out links in the Group Writing Group. You can also join the group to get a notification when a new monthly theme is posted.

    • #12
    • April 4, 2020, at 7:01 PM PDT
    • 2 likes