The floral decorations in the church: a means to get in touch with God
Church floral decorations represent an increasingly widespread reality. The floral art at the service of the liturgy, in fact, is considered as a means by which the places where the Lord is celebrated represent an anticipation of Paradise. The various liturgical celebrations, on the other hand, set the goal of favoring the encounter between the faithful and the divinity. So that this experience also involves the human senses in a fruitful way, transforming itself into an event of faith, it is opportune that any channel through which the celebration is communicated is the bearer of a message of hope, and therefore uses any kind of language, including that of flowers, to make the spark of beauty discover. It is in this context that the floral ornament realized in the liturgical hall finds meaning, thanks to the pastoral and liturgical workers who, moreover, respect the indications specified by the Catholic General Regulations. In fact, religious education plans to privilege simplicity with respect to pomp, so as to come directly to the truth. In essence, the Church flourishes symbolically in the places where the divine meaning is celebrated.
How to make a liturgical bouquet
A liturgical bouquet, of course, cannot be improvised, but arises from attentive listening and a profound reflection on the Word. The flower, since ancient times, has been an element through which man has wanted to express his emotions: happiness, nostalgia, emotion. Also for this reason the flowers, and the floral decorations in the church, participate in the divine worship. Therefore it is not a question of simple decorative compositions, but of realities that become prayers. Differentiating a decoration made by florists from a composition destined for a liturgy is the fundamental principle that governs action: profound reflection, based on listening to passages taken from the Sacred Scriptures mentioned at a particular celebration. Through flowers, every man, even the simplest man, is opened to the divine experience. But it is only through reflection on the celebration of the Word that the flowers can be adequately arranged, knowing each other in depth. Finally, the flowers prepare the place where the encounter between God and his men takes place: therefore, it does not arise as an element of distraction, but rather becomes a reality of prayer, which therefore demands simplicity and sobriety.
Concretely, therefore, all the floral decorations that are set up in the church must respond to these two principles.
On which occasions to use flowers in the church
It is worth underlining, however, that there are many opportunities for using flowers: baptisms, confirmations, weddings, communions, Advent, festivities, celebrations of the saints. Each event, if possible, must be distinguished by a particular style. From this we can deduce how the flowers chosen for a wedding, for example, must distinguish between compositions intended for the church and compositions intended for the rest of the ceremony (the flowers present at the bride's house, the flowers in the restaurant, the flowers that decorate the car of the spouses, and so on): the former must meet the criteria of simplicity, purity and the search for contact with God mentioned above; the others, on the other hand, will allow free rein to imagination and creativity, based on the couple's personal tastes, in a riot of different colors, shapes and sizes. For this reason, the choice of floral decorations, on the occasion of the celebration of a wedding in a church, should also involve the pastor who will marry the spouses in marriage, so that he can give a final opinion on the goodness or otherwise of the choice made.
To whom to entrust the task
It is not said that liturgical bouquets should be made by professional florists: even simple volunteers and oratory boys, perhaps with the collaboration of the sacristan, can devote themselves to their composition. As for the choice between natural flowers and fake flowers, much of the decision can only depend, of course, on the budget, which ultimately depends on the amount of money available. It is clear, in fact, that opting for natural flowers involves a decidedly greater expense, as well as a considerable commitment in terms of care and maintenance (in the sense that those flowers must be wet and taken care of even beyond the single celebration). For this reason, if inside the church there is no one willing to take care of the plants, it would be more appropriate to focus - naturally always under the supervision of the parish priest - on sober, cheap and versatile fake flowers, which can also be used in different occasions, possibly creating different compositions depending on the needs and liturgical needs.