The parish church of central Finchley
26 Hendon Lane, Finchley, London N3 1TR

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Posted November 24th, 2023

Going green for Advent


** Our beautiful bright red poppies were much admired as we honoured   Remembrance Day. It is now time to tuck them away for another year as the Flower Teams prepare for a new season in the church calendar.

Advent begins on Sunday December 3 and in keeping with our traditions, the church will be decorated with greenery only, from our churchyard and our own gardens.

This is in keeping with the ancient custom “bringing in the greens” when fresh greenery was brought into church to honour the winter solstice. Plants were chosen for the heady and healing scents from the oils in their needles, which would freshen and purify enclosed living spaces.

We will also prepare a large Advent wreath, which will be heavily laden with fresh and meaningful greenery including rosemary for remembrance, glossy dark green laurel for glory and the dainty, fast-growing ivy for friendship.

Traditionally, the circular wreath holds four candles around the edge – one of which is lit each week, with a central one reserved for Christmas Day. The wreath will be completely re-made in time for Christmas Eve with fresh greenery and bright red roses.

There is one special day in the Advent season when flowers are permitted in church – Gaudete Sunday also known as Rose Sunday or Refreshment Sunday. Rose-coloured vestments can be worn so it is appropriate to feature simple vases of pink roses or pink carnations on the altar.

— Lynn Radnedge