Friday, July 25, 2008


Many flowers and other plants are suitable for ordination in art and arrangements. Symbols of purity and chastity are of particular appropriateness. Among these would be the lily, the laurel, and oddly enough the chestnut and the orange tree.

According to this sadly unnamable book (mentioned last week) are also the following suggestions. “The hyacinth signifies Christian prudence, peace of mind and a longing for heaven.” It actually comes to us through Greek mythology. While throwing a discus Apollo accidentally killed the beautiful youth Hyacinthus. Apollo then caused the hyacinth to spring up from his blood. The cause of new life from the death of the youth can symbolically remind us of our hope and our longing for heaven and new life after this life here on earth.

The fir tree has a lot of meanings. It of course represents Christ at Christmas and eternal life because of its ever green leaves, but it can also mean the “rejection of the low and base desires” characteristic of the elect of heaven who excel in the virtue of patience. In some Easter European traditions they sometimes take two tall firs or pines and chop off all but the upper branches, place them at the entrance of the event (in this case the doors of the church) with a banner between them such as “Welcome to out newly ordained priest”. I do not know if that has any connection or any meaning or if it is just fancy decoration. If you know anything your insight would be appreciated.

The fern, a symbol of humility, frankness, and sincerity is also appropriate. Its grace and beauty is hidden in the shadows of the woods and is only seen by the careful and honest seeker. Throughout Scripture the elm tree is a symbol of power and strength and the dignity of life. (Odd since the road that goes behind St. Sebastian is Elmsdale and currently only has one elm tree on it due to the elm blight that has swept our country.) Its mighty arms that stretch out in every direction gives us the idea of the strength we receive from the Scriptures.

I love this one: The plantain, though only a weed, is the symbol of the well worn path and traveled path of pilgrims seeking the Lord. It thrives along byways and paths and is also knows as “way bread”. It is often seen in Renaissance paintings.



Fr. Schnipple, Adoro, Uncle Jim, LM, and a host of other initials, monikers, and guest bloggers are in town for the Adam’s Ale visit to the Vatican Splendors! Originally thought the third A.A. get together is actually the fourth we realized. I will have mass at St. Sebastian on Saturday at 4:30 and Fr. Schnipple will have Mass on Sunday at 11:00. Today we will be at the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes for a visit around 12:30.


Anonymous said...

Enjoy :-)


Cathy_of_Alex said...

Have a great time!