Memorial Poinsettias have been a tradition at PCPC for nearly fifty years. It allows the community of faith in the Christmas season to decorate the church, and also to lift up in public acknowledgement the gratitude we feel for loved ones, friends, and those whose lives are a particular blessing to us. In that sense I understand them to be a sort of prayer.
There is a narrative regarding poinsettias as a Christmas flower. The plant’s association with Christmas began in 16th-century Mexico, where legend tells of a girl, commonly called Pepita or Maria, who was too poor to provide a gift for the celebration of Jesus’ birthday and was inspired by an angel to gather weeds from the roadside and place them in front of the church altar. Crimson blossoms sprouted from the weeds and became beautiful poinsettias. From the 17th century, Franciscan friars in Mexico included the plants in their Christmas celebrations. The star-shaped leaf pattern is said to symbolize the Star of Bethlehem, and the red color represents the blood sacrifice through the crucifixion of Jesus.
The contributions that accompany the flower dedications are used to support the upkeep of the church yard and grounds. I am also grateful for the Flower Guild volunteers and staff who arrange the flowers with such love to decorate the Sanctuary, Connection space, church grounds, and create the Dedication Booklet each year.
Thank you for sharing in these Memorial Poinsettias. I hope you enjoy looking at the lovely flowers, and I hope you find reading through the Dedications* a moment that nurtures faith, hope and love in this season.
“Creator God, may the beauty of the flowers in the church lift up our prayers in memory, gratitude and hope this Christmas season. We pray remembering how Jesus said ‘Consider the flowers of the fields, they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you Solomon in all his glory was not clothed more beautifully than these.” (Matthew 6:28)
*Dedications will be available on line and printed on December 18th. If you would like to place a dedication, contact Diane@palmaceia.org.