The Easter season is masked with several legends and folklores about the lily and its religious significance. Easter Lily is the traditional flower of Easter and is highly regarded as a joyful symbol of elegance, beauty, spirituality, hope, and life. In Christendom the lily has come to symbolize the resurrection of Jesus because of its delicacy of form and its snow white colors. But have you ever wondered about the history and significance of this symbolic Easter flower, which adds elegance, grace and fragrance to millions of homes and churches during the spring time.
Every year, on the first Sunday after the first full moon, churches are filled with exquisite Easter lilies. Churches at Easter time grace the altars and surround the cross with Easter Lilies, to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
This importance rests even more clearly on a legend that the blood of Jesus, as it fell from the cross, was by a miracle transformed into flowers which filled heaven and earth.The popular Easter lily we use today to celebrate the holiday is referred to as the white-robed apostles of hope. These beautiful trumpet shaped white flowers were brought to the United States in 1875 from Japan by an American tourist and named after the florist who made it popular. The flower retells the resurrection story with its life cycle. These snow white flowers symbolize new life and hope.
The bulb of these flowers buried in the ground represents the tomb of Jesus and the glorious white trumpet-like fragrant flowers which grow from the bulbs symbolize His life after death. The snowy white color stands for the purity of the Divine Savior and the joy of the resurrection while the trumpet shape signifies Gabriel’s trumpet call to rebirth and new life.
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Maria Augusta Trapp has documented history of carols in a clear and concise way. According to her, singing and caroling at Christmas is one of the oldest folk customs of the day and has been present since the time when Christianity and Christmas season were still at their budding stages. It is a worldwide custom and there has been lot of research on the subject and several books have been written about it. Originally, music compositions and songs at Christmas were in the form of chants and hymns. Caroling originally meant ‘circle dance’ and the words to accompany this festive dance were later added to the tradition.
Initially, the church looked down upon carols and carol singing as a pagan custom and they could not be included in the sacred services. However, in the countryside, many simple folk songs and Nativity carols were written and gaine popularity too. In 1223, Saint Francis of Assisi introduced carols into the formal worship of the church during a Christmas Midnight Mass in a cave in Greccio, in the province of Umbria. That night, the songs and music that accompanied this sacred and formal event were not hymns but carols. Ever since then, carols caught on with the masses and were at their prime in the Middle Ages, when they were almost always a part of the mystery plays.
There was a time, when wandering minstrels and waits or watchmen that guarded the old walled cities in the night used to pass their time by singing carols and also sang them to the people who used to pass them by. They would go from home to home, singing carols and entertaining people and may be get a treat in return. Later groups of musicians began singing carols and playing them for various events that were held during the Christmas season. Today, carol singing has becoming an important of this holiday season and a number of caroling events are organized throughout the world during the festive season, especially on Christmas Eve!