On the holiest of days in the Christian world, people of faith gather in prayer and worship. The day is, of course, Easter, and it marks the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead after He was crucified by the authorities of the day. As a holiday, Easter celebrates not only His resurrection, but the Christian hope and faith that believers will one day share in His resurrection by being given a place in God’s Heaven. The Easter symbols of rebirth and renewal are evident throughout the Western world during this time of year, with everything from eggs to Easter flowers used to mark the occasion.
Flowers are symbolic
In the United States especially, Easter flowers are a staple of the holiday celebration. Many Christians – and even some non-believers – offer Easter flower arrangements to their friends and families at Easter time. Believers find them the perfect way to signify the rebirth inherent in the holiday and spread that word and hope to others, while those of other faiths often find that these flowers help them to remember other ancient customs such as the celebration of the birth of spring. For both Christians and non-Christians alike, the Easter season marks a time of new birth and new hope.
Perhaps the best known of all Easter flowers in the United States is the lily. The Easter lily is a plant that once came only from the Japanese islands, but which was imported into the United States more than a century ago. It has proven so popular in this country that the western States of the United States now produce the majority of lilies sold in the world. The lily is prized in Easter arrangements for its shape, color, and fragrance. In every way that matters, the lily seems symbolic of renewal.
The Lily’s symbolism
Many of the lilies you are likely to see used as Easter flowers are of the variety that has big, white, flowers that are shaped like a trumpet. This shape was one of the first things that drew many Christians to the lily, as the trumpet signifies the desire among Christians for the Second Coming – that time at the end of human history when Jesus returns in triumph from Heaven to establish a millennial Kingdom on earth. Symbolically mirroring the Biblical Trumpets used by the angels of Heaven, the lily is the Christian way of symbolically summoning their Lord to return.
The pure white color of the lily is symbolic of the purity of both Christ and the sin-free life for which all believers ultimately aspire. Because they know that perfection in their mortal lives is an impossible goal, the white also symbolizes the purity of the resurrection for which they wait, as they join their Lord in Heaven and are free from the wages of sin once and for all.
The perfect Easter gift
Easter flowers, of course, take on other forms around the world, but in the United States the lily still reigns supreme for the celebration of the holiday. Your choice of lilies as a gift -when arranged with baby’s breath and perhaps a red azalea to signify the blood of Christ – can be a beautiful gift that will be treasured by friends and family alike. Easter is a time for celebration, and these flowers can be the perfect way for you to share your celebration with others around you. So the next time you and your family find yourself reaching for the chocolate bunnies and plastic eggs to prepare for this important holiday, don’t forget the reason for the Easter season.