Gardens

April showers bring May flowers. It’s that time of the year where our gardens are getting planted and flowers are beginning to bloom. The air is becoming more fragrant and our yards are bright and colorful. What a beautiful time of the year! Church gardens are no exception, and Parish Giving is here to help!

Parish Garden

I love looking at pictures of gardens from different church bulletins. The perfectly manicured lawns and the different flowers always flow so nicely together. I especially love when they are able to capture butterflies or bird’s nests. On the same note, their gardens are difficult to keep up with; lots of tending to and money go into them. Why not try one of our online forms for a fundraiser?

We offer different kinds of online forms for raising money, or for flower/plant donations. You can even raise money with our forms for memorial plaques or small statues for loved ones. It’s a small idea that can grow very nicely!

School children

It’s important to teach school children about gardens at a young age. They can learn to appreciate plants, flowers and the creatures that live in it. One of our parishes, Holy Family in Hicksville, NY, demonstrated how to take care of an abandoned robin’s egg. They help create a bird’s nest for it in hopes that the egg will hatch. Teaching them responsibility to help grow and nurture what is growing about them, whether plant or bird helps them grow as adults in the church. They become more caring and loving themselves.

Communities

Some towns and cities have community gardens. Your parish garden should be part of it. Having others tending to it allows it to grow and have different plants throughout the season. This also helps more families and people new to the area adapt to their new home. Why not host a community garden day to help your garden grow in more ways than one?

As you can see gardens are more than just about plants and flowers; it’s about the community and teaching. If you are interested in hosting a community garden day, contact us and we’ll advertise it on our numerous social media platforms – we can even come up with a form for donations too! Parish Giving is here for all of your garden and community needs!

Feel free to send us pictures of your parish garden! We love seeing the flowers blossoming and seeing the different varieties of colors used!

Easter Traditions of the Catholic Church

It’s hard to believe, but it’s finally April! I was down the shore this past weekend, and all the flowers were lining the streets and outside of shops. The air was so fragrant that all you could think about is how nice Easter is going to be this year. Easter flowers are just one tradition in the church – there are so many others that are celebrated. Here are just a few Easter traditions of the Catholic Church.

Veiled Images

Starting Palm Sunday many churches use purple cloth to cover religious artwork within the church. All but the Stations of the Cross and stained glass windows are covered. Some parishes even remove all images and works of art all together from the church. This lasts until Easter masses when they are uncovered, except for the crucifixes which are uncovered on Good Friday.

Washing of Feet

Before the feast of Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to pass from this world in the Father. He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end. The devil had already induced Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot to hand him over. So during supper, fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power and that he had come from God and was returning to God, he rose from supper and took off his outer garments. He took a towel and tied it around his waist. The he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and dry them with a towel around his waist. He came to Simon Peter who said to him, “Master, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing, you do not understand now, but you will understand later.” John 13 1-7.

This tradition of the washing of the feet takes place every Holy Thursday (Maundy Thursday). Since 1955 usually twelve people are asked prior to mass to have their feet washed. They sit in a specified area and the priest and ministers come around and pour water on their feet and then dry them.

Stations of the Cross

Stations of the Cross is a Good Friday custom that the church is very active with. It depicts fourteen different pictures or scenes from the gospel. It starts with Pilate condemns Jesus to die, and ends with Jesus being placed in the tomb. Often churches present a live version of the Stations with youth groups acting out the scenes.

Check out our blog next week to see some of these events at some of our parishes! You can also locate what is going on at your church through its weekly bulletin! It’s the busy season for the Catholic church, and there is something happening during Holy Week at a church near you!