If you read my last post, you saw the beautiful flowered cross displayed at my childhood church in Nashville over Easter. I thought I'd explain the whole tradition:
On the first Sunday in Lent, some strong person brings the bare cross up the aisle, places it before the altar and hammers two nails into either side. The cross remains there throughout Lent, and each Sunday an item is added to it symbolizing elements of the crucifixion:
- a bag of coins representing Judas's betrayal of Jesus for 30 silver coins
- a crown of thorns
- a sponge tied to a stick representing the vinegar-soaked sponge offered to Jesus
- a black stole
On Easter morning, church members bring flowers -- from their gardens, picked wild or store-bought -- to adorn the cross. During Sunday School, the items are removed and the cross is flowered. It's a striking sight and quite a contrast from the solemn days of Lent.
The flowering of the cross has been a church tradition for several years. It's a powerful way to keep the story of Jesus's suffering, crucifixion and resurrection alive.