The tradition to decorate the temple for holidays in Orthodoxy goes back deep into the past. A special decoration for each Orthodox celebration is a mystery and usually differs in color and composition of plants. It can be both living and artificial flowers, and the temple with this decoration remains a sacred place for believers and prayers.
A special culture of Orthodoxy
Wherever the temple was located, whether it be a huge metropolis or a small village, believers will always find a way to decorate the House of God in a special way on the eve of a church holiday. People are very sensitive to the place where you can find answers to your questions, find peace of mind and pray.
Many grow plants themselves on site, someone buys flowers especially for the holiday in the store or creates from the fabric luxurious artificial flowers that cannot be distinguished from the real ones. However, there are special traditions for the decoration of the temple, which should be taken into account and, in order not to do something irrelevant, it is better to consult a priest who will definitely support and direct.
For the Orthodox Church, the main thing is the God who is invisibly present nearby, and those who came to the temple to pray, and the flowers are of a secondary nature. The use of flower garlands, compositions near the royal gates should be such as not to distract the attention of believers from the sacrament of prayer and from the icons.
In addition, every church festival has its own color in the vestments of clergymen. This should be taken into account when choosing the color of plants and the composition of floral arrangements. Easter is painted in red shades, and this color imposes an imprint on the flower arrangement of the holiday.
What flowers to choose to decorate the temple? Of course, uncritical tones, calm and emphasizing the greatness and steadfastness of the temple and faith, the icons and the reverence of the prayers. More and more people tend to decorate the temple with cut flowers, but the presence of plants in pots is also acceptable.
As a variant of this decoration, you can use those plants that were grown at home and then brought to the temple. After the holiday, you can take them home again. It can be:
These green representatives of indoor flowers perfectly blend with flowering pot plants: chrysanthemums, aralia, begonias, callas, hydrangeas. These flowering representatives of the flora can also decorate the church feast on their own.
You can also use artificial flowers, as in the old days they were decorated with icons, cakes. However, they must be made of quality materials and in a highly artistic style.
Flowers that cannot decorate the temple
The fact is that there are plants that are not accepted to enter the temple. These include those representatives of the flora, which have thorns and thorns. In the Orthodox culture, it is not customary to bring to the temple the instruments of torture of Christ. Such specimens include acacia, hawthorn, and dog rose. Roses also remove thorns before decorating the temple.
Also, to plants that are unacceptable for the decoration of icons, include poisonous or “spell” representatives of the flora, who participate in cult rituals and “love potions”. This is hemp, cow-grass, bleached, sleep-grass, Ludlum.
In addition, those flowers that have a strong sweetish smell are not used – it can cause headaches or dizziness in believers. Such inflorescences include some species of lilies, jasmine, cherry branches – all those plants, the smell of which can kill the unique aroma of the church room.
Special holiday atmosphere
To create a special mood of reverence in the great holiday today, many different adaptations and construction tricks are used. To fix floral garlands or small bouquets use mounting foam, building glue, all kinds of guns and nozzles. This allows you to create a unique aura of solemnity, and thus fastenings do not damage the plants themselves and the decoration of the temple.
Decorating the temple with flowers for Easter creates a special atmosphere, joy, and grace. Here often use a harmonious multi-color design. Any floral frame is done with the knowledge of the priest. By his blessing, a garland of thirty-three carnations – according to the number of years of Christ, lined with candles “Christ is raised!” Or the decoration of the icon of the Blessed Virgin with white lilies can be made, as a reminder of her purity and purity.
But the decoration of the temple uses traditional Russian plants, rather than imported varieties of flowers. So, for Christmas, it is customary to decorate the temple with coniferous branches or even whole small trees. In addition to the symbolism of eternal life (evergreen plants), this decoration allows you to feel the sensation of the sacrament, which takes place in the temple.
On Palm Sunday, believers decorate the temple with flowering willow branches and bring candles with flowers in the form of fluffy balls of this plant for consecration. In southern latitudes, where spring has already entered its rights, decorate the temple with the help of branches of weeping willow, which is otherwise called the Jerusalem willow.