Meanings behind the Easter lily

Easter symbols and traditions help make the holiday familiar and special. Eggs, hot cross buns and frilly church dresses help paint the picture, and so does a delicate and beautiful white flower.

The Easter lily plant is native to both Taiwan and the Ryukyu Islands of Japan. The plant’s flowering season begins in April and ends in June. The plant produces pure white flowers on top of long stems. Easter lilies often adorn homes and church altars during this time of year.

Tradition states that the Eas­ter lily originated in the Garden of Eden from the teardrops of Eve that spread when she and Adam were cast out of the gar­den. These were believed to be tears of repentance.

Historians and biblical schol­ars say that the lily has always been highly regarded in the Christian Church. Jesus even references the flower in Luke 12:27, stating “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.” Legend has it that, after Jesus’ death and resurrection, lilies were found growing in the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus is said to have prayed be­fore his crucifixion. They were believed to have sprung up from a drop of sweat from his brow when his head was bent in prayer.

In Easter celebrations, the lily represents Christ’s Resur­rection, and thusly new birth and new life. The delicate, white blooms can be viewed as pure, innocent and untainted by the world.

The flower itself is used in various ways to tell the resur­rection story. The bulb is buried in the ground as a representa­tion of Christ’s tomb. The trum­pet-shaped fragrant flowers also announce life after death, since bulbed flowers often re­grow year after year, accord­ing to the religious resource All About Jesus. And the trumpet shape signifies the angel Ga­briel’s trumpet call.

It’s common for Easter lilies to decorate homes, churches, gardens, and more throughout the Easter season.


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