Blog #114: God’s Creation on Easter - in our very own Easter Garden

April 6, 2023
Monika Weber-Fahr
“Our kid’s church has prepared a beautiful Easter Garden”, Patrick announced proudly and with a big smile at the end of last Sunday’s service, but because I was participating via video while traveling for work I could not actually go and check out what he meant. Back in town on Monday, my first trip was to Jaurésgasse 12, and indeed there it was, the kids’ Easter Garden: In a small corner of our church yard, surrounded by beautiful stones, and sporting yellow, white and purple flowers, seemingly winter-proof and withstanding the low temperatures we have this week
What a great way to connect with the mysteries of Easter - building your very own little garden! And even though I have now been with Christ Church for over six years, I must admit that I never noticed that this is what our kids’ church has been doing here every Easter, shame on me! As it were, we are not alone: Many churches in the Anglican tradition regularly build temporarily what one might also call a Resurrection Garden - a place in nature that adds a visual dimension to the Easter liturgy - often a grand affair, with peat, flowerbeds, “hedges” and so on, typically built on or before Maundy Thursday or Good Friday and removed only after the end of the Easter Week or many days later, sometimes kept even throughout Pentecost. Here at Christ Church Vienna, our kids’ church is in charge - and they will add three crosses to their arrangements on Friday, and a tomb, complete with a stone that closes it, on Friday night.
Foto: The kids at Christ Church have built a beautiful little Easter Garden - check it out, it's in the Church Yard. .   
Flowers are a part of God’s Creation that Christians have used for centuries to express sentiments of faith - praise and joy, as much as reverence and adoration, or mourning and sadness. I presume, for the longest of times, flowers were what brought color into people’s lives - even though the cave paintings and ancient jewelries that archeologists have dug up over the years tell a vivid story of how also minerals were part of the coloring kits used early on to decorate faces, surfaces, and sometimes even animals. More so than pictures though, flowers seem to be cheering us up for reasons other than just their colors. They bow their little heads towards the sun, they hunker down and try to protect their vulnerable buds and blooms from wind and snow, and they offer food to insects of all kinds - including, of course, my so very favorite honey bees. And as such they inspire poets and song writers - as much as the faithful, as they do now, through our very own and ever so beautiful Easter Garden.
The central role of flowers in Christian faith is something that often seems forgotten - unless, of course, you are part of the Altar Guild or whatever a parish may call the team concerned with decorating the church in just the right way throughout the year. Certain flowers have specific liturgical roles and meanings - like the white lilies or the daisies for Easter - reminding us that we are not at the center of the cosmic picture (Psalm 103: 15): “As for mortals, their days are like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field”. In fact, has not Jesus asked us to be more like the lilies of the field who do not labor or spin but enjoy God’s glory and care - noting that “not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these”.
The flowers that the kids’ church team chose so thoughtfully for the Easter Garden tell even more stories: The yellow ones are called Himmelschlüssel - which translates as Key to Heaven, even though their proper name in English is a bit more prosaic: Cowslips. Part of the primrose family, they smell sweetly, are under protection when found in the wild and should therefore not be picked - but the domesticated version’s blooms can actually be used to color Easter eggs! The purple ones are Blaukissen or Aubretia in English, chosen for the rich symbolism of their color, representing wisdom, strength, transformation, power, and royalty. And then there are the white ones, the Gänsekresse or Rock Cress, and the Schleifenblume, in English Iberis or candytuft, representing innocence and - as part of the Kreuzblütler or cruciferous family  - in name and shape a good reminder of the role of the cross in the Easter liturgy. Needless to say: All of them offer great nutritional experiences for bees and other insects!
So as you go through the Easter liturgy these days, on today’s Maundy Thursday, tomorrow’s Good Friday, Saturday’s Easter vigil and Sunday’s Easter celebration, do take a moment to stop by at our beautiful Easter Garden, celebrate and give thanks for God’s creation, and take the flowers’ inspiration with you, as you walk into the coming days ...
This Blog benefited from input from Karin Ifeagwu and Lucille Curran from the Kids’ Church team.  Feeling inspired? Want to contribute? Remark on or question something? Please send thoughts about or suggestions for the Living Light Blog to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.