Saturday, March 1, 2014

About Church Flowers during Lent

The general rule is that there are to be no altar flowers during Lent.  Exceptions are made for the Feast of the Annunciation (March 25) and the Fourth Sunday of Lent, Laetare Sunday, which is March 30 this year (2014).

The reason for the rule, of course, is that Lent is a penitential season of fasting and penance leading up to the sorrows of Good Friday.  The return of flowers on Easter helps express the joy of the resurrection.

Liturgically, Lent ends just before the Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday, which is when the Easter Triduum begins. It is both customary and entirely appropriate to decorate the Altar of Repose with flowers. It is also appropriate to decorate the altar for Holy Thursday Mass because that Mass celebrates the institution of the Eucharist and of the Priesthood.  But of course the main altar is stripped after Holy Thursday Mass, and there are no altar flowers on Good Friday.


Marie-Jacqueline said...

I happened to visit a site today that featured dried flowers for Lent. Please do not do this. When the Church says no flowers during Lent it means no flowers -- not even dead ones.

Gemma said...

Our chruch fills the sanctuary with the branches of what seems to be an entire willow tree. These have to be removed laboriously before every Latin Mass.