Flowering the Easter Cross is a tradition for many during the Easter season.
But, before we get into the “how” to make a flowering Easter cross – lets look at the tradition behind this beautiful symbol.
The “Flowering of the Easter cross” takes place during Easter. The flowering begins during the Sunrise church service across the country next Sunday. Many worshippers will attend church and participate in the poignant practice of “Flowering of the Easter Cross”.
Each worshipper can pick out a fresh flower. This is usually from an assortment of lilies, daisies, tulips, and carnations. Alternatively one may bring a flower from their garden at home.
After that, comes the meaningful moment when each individual approaches the cross – often on the lawn or perhaps at the altar.
The worshipper stands before the cross to place their flower upon it with reflection and reverence. Often, families stand together at the cross, each picking out a special spot for their flower.
Eventually, the cross is completely covered in beautiful flowers with a brilliant array of color, light, and fragrance.
The Flowering of the Easter Cross transforms a symbol of death, darkness, pain, and hopelessness. Above all, the Cross becomes beautiful, new and alive in celebration of the Resurrection of Christ.
Artistic Christianity and Worship
It is likely the artistic world that inspired this practice of creative Easter worship. For instance, symbolic flowering crosses can be found in Christian art as early as the Sixth Century.
As I have reflected on the flowering of the Easter cross during this Holy Week, I thought: Wouldn’t it be special to bring this tradition home?
I was inspired by my friend Jamie, who has a lighted nook in her front foyer. There, she places seasonal and holiday displays that are sacred touchstones. Her Easter display, below, includes a central cross, a floral bouquet, sheep, a shepherd, and an angel.
What a wonderful way to be greeted when entering her home! Such displays, full of meaning and significance, are at the heart of what a gracious home is all about.
How to make a Flowering Cross
Inspired by her example, I set out on a quest to learn how to put together a floral cross for my home this Easter. That’s when I turned to Tracy Wilson, the creative entrepreneur who owns Blossoms by Stroud Florist in Jamestown, N.C. Tracy was up for the challenge, and kind enough to teach me how to flower a cross.
Step 1: Start with the Moss-covered Cross Form
Obtain the moss-covered foam from a florist or craft shop, We started out with a moss-covered cross form lined in plastic, about 20 inches high, and with floral foam soaked in water to fill in the inside of the cross form.
Step 2: Cut the Foam to Size
Tracy cut the foam to size and inserted it inside the liner, making sure it fits snugly. The foam could be secured with floral tape if the fit was not tight enough.
Step 3: Obtain your Focal Flowers
Begin by inserting the focal flowers at the center. Get creative and use what’s in season or your favorites. We chose to use brilliant pink lilies since lilies represent purity and hope.
Step 4: Cut the Stems 2-3 Inches
Tracy noted that we should cut stems 2-3 inches from the bloom at an angle for best results before inserting into the floral foam.
Step 5: Use Greenery to Fill Space
Tracy used greenery to hide the floral foam and fill in the empty spaces. Don’t be shy to trim the edges to keep the cross shape intact.
Step 7: Chose the base flower for the Shape
Carnations were chosen as a base flower to define the shape of the cross.
Step 8: Tell your Story through Flowers
In conclusion, Tracy thoughtfully chooses flowers to symbolize aspects of the Easter story. White was used to symbolize the Resurrected Christ with the white carnations and daisies. Yellow bachelor buttons were chosen to represent spring and new birth. Finally, we chose purple statice to symbolize royalty for the King of Kings.
Red roses were chosen for two reasons–red for the blood of Christ, and the thorns of the rose stems are a reminder of the crown of thorns.
The resulting creation was truly breathtaking and as fragrant as a spring garden.
Some Final Thoughts…
To keep the flowers of the cross fresh for a number of days, Tracy recommends spraying daily. Use a spray bottle or spray gun at your sink. In addition, don’t forget to prop the cross of flowers up and let the water drain before placing it back on furniture.
The cross form she used, can also be hung on the wall or a door like a wreath. While this form is suited for live flowers, other more basic forms like styrofoam could be used for permanent or silk flowers.
In my quest for making the floral cross experience personal, I shared the idea with my creative and crafty friend Allison. As she set out to create an Easter floral cross, she took a similar approach to Tracy, and purchased her flowers from the local farmer’s market. I love the yellow, pink, lilac and white color scheme she chose.
How do you infuse your home with meaning? What traditions do you have during the holidays, special occasions and every day?
From the Hadley Court team, we wish you and your loved ones a blessed and beautiful Easter holiday.
Photo credits: thingsthatinspire.net, Saintdavidpdx.org, davidsonnews.net, fullhomeliydivinity.org, Blossoms by Stroud Florist