Christmas is the season in which we hear the “tidings of great joy” that the Savior of the world was born in Bethlehem. The Second Person of the Trinity had to become man in order to redeem man. After the Feast of the Resurrection, then, the Feast of the Nativity is the greatest in the Church. The atmosphere and appearance of the church building, in addition to its message and music, reflect the exceeding gladness of this celebration.
Flowers and greenery also help to beautify the church building and aid in expressing the joy of the season. The flower most commonly used for Christmas decoration is the poinsettia. Greenery such as fir boughs or holly branches may be used to decorate windows, columns, and other architectural pieces (but not the altar, pulpit, or font). in the scene. Mary, Joseph, the Babe, and a few animals are always appropriate. Shepherds may be added for christrnas and the sunday after. The Wise Men may replace them for the Epiphany.
The flower for the Christmas season is the poinsettia, though several other kinds of flowers-for example, mums-could be used. Red poinsettias are the most popular color, but white is more in harmony with the celebration. An impressive display could be arranged using both colors’ As with other flowers and greenery, their placement should be dignified and not interfere with the prominence of the altar and chancel cross. Because of the festivity of the season, Christmas flowers may be more numerous than during tire non festival seasons. However, consideration of the fact that other decorations will probably be in use should be kept in mind so that the total effect is not overwhelming.
Another appropriate Christmas decoration is the nativity scene. Local custom, and/or the design of the chancel and nave may determine where this accessory is placed. Only nativity scenes of high quality and craftsmanship should be used. This mean’s that plastic figures should not be employed Attention also needs to be paid to which figures are placed.