Thursday, March 21, 2013

Decorate the Cross

Have you ever learned of a tradition that you then want to incorporate?

Well, I learned of a new tradition, known as the flowering Easter cross, from the Easter Season page of the Christian Resource Institute. This cross is actually set up during Lent or at the start of Holy Week. It is supposed to be a rough, wooden cross. Each service of Lent, it is a plain, rough, wooden cross. During the Black Friday service, it is covered in black cloth. On Easter Sunday, the cross is decorated in flowers and white cloth. Jesus is risen!! The bare cross is now carrying blooming flowers.

The power of that symbolism stopped me in my tracks. How would seeing that rough cross every Sunday impact my Lent? How would seeing the flowering cross on Easter Sunday impact the joy of the resurrection? For the visual learners, it's one thing to hear about the importance of Jesus' death on the cross, but to be faced with a cross and then see flowering life on the instrument of death? That seems powerful.

The colors of the church year events have a novel symbolism for me. The following are several sites that explain the symbolism of the different colors of the church year: Liturgical Colors, Colors of the Church Year, and The Church Year in Full Color. If you are wanting more information on different ways to celebrate the church year, check out Liturgical Year Activities. Resurrection Sunday (what most people call Easter) is quickly approaching. This site here provides a little bit of the background of Easter.

I challenge you to research traditions that your church practices and learn the meaning behind them. How else will they hold meaning for you?

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