Easter is a time of year that means many things to lots of people. It is the most important day in the Christian Church. It celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It means rebirth In The Northern Hemisphere with the beginning of Spring. To young children it means a visit from the Easter Bunny bringing Easter eggs a plenty, school holidays and to children in schools in Australia it means Easter Hat Parades.
One of the symbols of Easter and the Christian Church are flowers from the Lily Family. They not only have Religious links they also appear on many antique samplers.
Consider the lilies, how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. – Luke 12 – 27.
They are a symbol of purity and innocence and are associated with The Virgin Mary. The Easter Lily, a particular variety which blooms in Spring from a seemingly lifeless bulb, has become symbolic of Christ’s Restitution. A lily among thorns has been used to represent the Immaculate Conception and a lily can also be used as a symbol for Christ.
One sampler in both of our collections is Dutch Beauty, a sampler that is filled with symbolism. Either side of the Pelican with her chicks appears in vases the Fritillaria lily.
Sandra stitched this over 1 which is an amazing achievement.
There are several varieties of the Fritillaria lily and have some interesting names such as Snakeshead, the Sullen Lady and sometimes The Leper’s Bell.
The Crown Imperial or Fritillaria Imperialis is a particularly beautiful strain and is connected to Jesus Christ.
Legend has it that the lily like flowers of The Crown Imperial were once white and pointed upward and that they grew in the garden of Gethsemane among many other beautiful flowers. As Our Lord walked sadly past them, the flowers bowed their heads in sympathy – all bar the Crown Imperial, proud and haughty because of its own crown of leaves. Christ noticed this one conceited plant and turned back and rebuked it, and at once it hung its head in shame and blushed crimson. Tears appeared in its eyes. These “tears” are drops of nectar that hang within the flower bells still. They cannot be dislodged even if the flower head is shaken vigorously.
This year Good Friday marked a curious occasion for observers of liturgical calendars. Good Friday is the day recalling Jesus crucifixion, – occurring on March 25 – is also the Feast of the Annunciation, recalling the day upon which the angel Gabriel appeared to the Blessed Virgin Mary. By extension, this day was considered to be the day on which Jesus was conceived; a deduction arrived at through the early celebration among Christians of Jesus’ birth on December 25. So significant was the Feast of the Annunciation that until 1752, it was regarded in England as the commencement of the New Year.
This confluence Good Friday and Annunciation, whilst rare, is not unheard of. The last time this occurred was in 2005; but it won’t happen again until 2157.
We hope that you have a wonderful Easter with your family.