One of the challenging things about moving is not knowing where your stuff is. Today, I am writing about ways to decorate your home (the domestic church) for Lent… and I haven’t been able to find my Lenten decorations, so you’ll have to bear with fewer photos.
Why decorate for Lent? Isn’t Lent supposed to be solemn and serious. Well, yes, but the Churches are decorated and there is no reason you cannot decorate your home to best reflect the season. Besides it’s a good way to keep the focus on Lent and not on Bunnies laying Easter Eggs. Speaking of which… DD1 asked me the other day why bunnies lay eggs if they are mammals. Thanks, marketing peeps.
No, really it goes back to a Pagan tradition about the fertility goddess Oestre (from which we also get the name Estrogen or Oestrogen as it is spelled in other countries,) who’s sacred animal was the Rabbit. More from goddess gift.com:
Feeling guilty about arriving late one spring, the Goddess Ostara saved the life of a poor bird whose wings had been frozen by the snow. She made him her pet or, as some versions have it, her lover. Filled with compassion for him since he could no longer fly (in some versions, it was because she wished to amuse a group of young children), Ostara turned him into a snow hare and gave him the gift of being able to run with incredible speed so he could protect himself from hunters. In remembrance of his earlier form as a bird, she also gave him the ability to lay eggs (in all the colors of the rainbow, no less), but only on one day out of each year.
Eventually the hare managed to anger the goddess Ostara, and she cast him into the skies where he would remain as the constellation Lepus (The Hare) forever positioned under the feet of the constellation Orion (the Hunter). He was allowed to return to earth once each year, but only to give away his eggs to the children attending the Ostara festivals that were held each spring. The tradition of the Easter Bunny had begun.
In later Christian tradition the white Hare, when depicted at the Virgin Mary’s feet, represents triumph over lust or the flesh. The rabbit’s vigilance and speed came to represent the need to flee from sin and temptation and a reminder of the swift passage of life.
And, finally, there is a sweet Christian legend about a young rabbit who, for three days, waited anxiously for his friend, Jesus, to return to the Garden of Gethsemane, not knowing what had become of him. Early on Easter morning, Jesus returned to His favorite garden and was welcomed the little rabbit. That evening when the disciples came into the garden to pray, still unaware of the resurrection, they found a clump of beautiful larkspurs, each blossom bearing the image of a rabbit in its center as a remembrance of the little creature’s hope and faith.
Why did I take the time to tell you that? I found it interesting and my head is full of seemingly useless information that will come in handy if I am ever on Jeopardy! Seriously, I love trivia. Anyway…
So Lenten decorations. The liturgical color for the Lenten season is violet and typically the decorations should be more on the plain side. We have a violet table runner made of garbardine that we’d keep on the dining table (if I knew where it was) and we would put a small diameter grapevine wreath on top. The gabardine I bought on sale for $4/ yard and I bought 3 yards. I folded it in half (the long way) and stitched up the sides and ends. Voila! Insta-table runner. The grapevine wreath I bought at a craft store for $2.
On our sideboard table, we have a simple, draped cross. The draping can be changed to white during the Easter season and then to Red during Pentecost. This cost me… $3 I think… $1 for the cross, $1 for the cardboard box and $1 for the purple bandana. I had brown paint at home.
And… that’s it. Let’s see $12 for fabric, $2 for wreath, $3 for cross…$17 for Lenten decorations!
Do you decorate for Lent? What do you display at your house?
Image from cdn.sheknows.com