Pew ends, wreaths on front doors and of course the altar are the usual and first places which come to mind when we set about making the sanctuary beautiful for Christmas. And Christmas must carry on long after the 24th and look fresh and green. On the to-do list of every altar guild is the upkeep and watering of the potted plants, the misting of fresh greens, and the constant refreshing of drooping floral decorations over the next 10 days.
Sometimes, when decorating, it is good to enter the front door of your church as if you were a visitor and not a long-term parishioner who knows every nook and cranny- or bring someone new into your church to get a fresh perspective. Where does the eye rest when you first come in? Is there a spot for a pedestal, a wreath, an arrangement? The photo below is just inside a busy side entry at St. John’s, Newport. It is a beautiful cobalt blue stained glass window with a very wide ledge in front. Walmart’s had this 14″ Holy Family statue set for $12.99. It makes a wonderful grouping for the Feast of the Holy Family, and a pleasant place to contemplate when one first enters the vestibule. Various greens, twigs, wild moss, rosemary sprigs,and potted small trees with a snowdrift of German statice for snow make up the very simple arrangement which is long-lasting and easy to do.
Don’t forget the rector’s pulpit! Fresh green garland around the top, or a green wreath on the front of the pulpit will make an appealing focal point which will be noticed during the sermon. This particular wineglass pulpit at St. John’s has a little staircase with a newelpost finial of St. Augustine. The arrangement uses the wonderful eucalyptus with the large silvery frosty berries and aromatic greens arranged in a copper cone container along with beaded eucalyptus, white alstromeria and laurel leaves. This arrangement lasted two weeks! Every little niche and quiet corner may be the place for a few unexpected and sweet-smelling flowers or greens for Christmastide. When large arrangements start to fade, salvage still-fresh blooms and greens to make up smaller arrangements for new places. The possibilities are endless and pleasing-as well as economical.