THE EASTER LILY
The world of art and literature are full of stories and images that speak of the beauty and majesty of the Easter lily. One of the most famous biblical references is the Sermon on the Mount, when Christ told his listeners: "Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they toil not, neither do they spin; and yet Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these."
Often called the "white-robed apostles of hope," lilies were found growing in the garden of Gethsemane after Christ's agony. Tradition has it that the beautiful white lilies spring up where drops of Christ's sweat fell to the ground in his final hours of sorrow and distress. Christian churches continue this tradition at Easter by banking their altars and surrounding their crosses with masses of Easter lilies to commemorate the Resurrection and hope of life everlasting.
The pure white lily has long been closely associated with Mary, the mother of Jesus. In early paintings, the Angel Gabriel is pictured extending to Mary a branch of pure white lilies, announcing that she is to be the mother of the Christ child. In other paintings, saints are pictured bringing vases full of white lilies to Mary and the Infant Jesus.
The legend is told that when Mary's tomb was visited three days after her burial, it was found empty save for bunches of majestic white lilies. Early church writers and the Roman Catholic Church and artists made the lily the emblem of Mary's supposed annunciation (NOTE: We do not adhere to Roman Catholic doctrine, only mentioning this as part of the legends)
In yet another expression of womanhood, lilies had a significant presence in the paradise of Adam and Eve. Tradition has it that when Eve left the Garden of Eden she shed real tears of repentance, and from those remorseful tears sprung up lilies.
Easter morn with lilies fair
Fills the church with perfumes rare,
As their clouds of incense rise,
Sweetest offerings to the skies.
Stately lilies pure and white
Flooding darkness with their light,
Bloom and sorrow drifts away,
On this holy hallow'd day.
Easter Lilies bending low
in the golden afterglow,
Bear a message from the sod
To the heavenly towers of God.
~ Louise Lewin Matthews ~
On Easter Day the lilies bloom,
Triumphant, risen from their tomb;
Their bulbs have undergone rebirth,
Born from the silence of the earth
Symbolically, to tell all men
That Christ, the Savior, lives again.
The angels, pure and white as they,
Have come and rolled the stone away
And with the lifting of the stone,
The shadow of the cross is gone!
~ June Masters Bacher ~
Love is such a mighty urge
At springtime of the year,
Flowing pond and bursting buds
To tell us Easter's near.
Life's as new, by act of faith,
As when the world began,
Robins sing in every branch
And lilies rise again.
~ June Masters Bacher ~
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