Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Hobby: Flower Arranging

I loved gardening and that is one of the things I greatly miss in apartment living. But God knew this and He sure made a way for me to still be involved with plants and flowers, somehow!
There is a small church about 3 minutes from where we live. One day, the pastor spoke to invite the parishioners to help in whatever way possible. After mass, I asked how I could help and he asked me if I could help with providing flower arrangement for the altar area. It's been 3 years ago since I started my flower ministry. This was something new to me. I now make arrangements for the different seasons.
To get started I looked for flower shops...those were too expensive. Soon, I found a wholesaler at the market and a flower outlet store. With these 2 suppliers, the costs became a bit more reasonable.
My flower ministry begins in the fall when the church calendar is still in Ordinary Time. I try to design my creations symbolically, through the choice of colors and in the materials I use.
When Advent comes around, the first thing to prepare is the Advent wreath.
For the rest of the season, I use lilies and mums, with eucalyptus and some berries in anticipation of the forthcoming season...
and add some evergreens and the color gold for the festive Christmas season's celebration.
In the early spring, more colorful flowers are in bloom. I used to help out in this church, too, taking turns with another lady doing the flower arrangements.
In the season of Lent, when the church is preparing for the Passion of our Lord...roses with their thorny stems remind us of Christ's suffering.
For the Triduum, a side Altar of Repose is prepared. The red tulips are a reminder of the blood our Lord shed for us.
During the Easter mass celebration, all white flowers adorn the altar...a symbol of the resurrection...a sign of God's pure love for us.
And in the weeks after - back in ordinary time, before summer, the flowers and the colors can be as colorful as they can be until the church closes its doors for the summer.

My flower ministry takes a half-day each week, whenever I am in town. It is a blessing in disguise for me, as I have learned more about flowers and how to arrange them, and be in my own paradise! The latest thing I had figured out on my own, is to put a little bleach in the water in the vase. This makes the flowers last a little bit longer and the vases stay gunk free after a week, and so much easier to clean.

Uh oh...I have just less than 24 hours to prepare the flowers for the New Year's vigil mass...then, we will attend the vigil mass and be on our way after to celebrate ringing in 2010. Happy new year!!!

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