Volunteers adorn 8-foot Des Plaines cross with 1,000 blooms
Church's floral cross now in its 38th year
While pots of lillies commonly line church altars and hallways for Easter services, an 8-foot floral cross will welcome members to worship today at the Christ Church United Church of Christ in Des Plaines.
A dozen volunteers spent time Saturday afternoon trimming stems, fluffing petals and attaching some 1,000 live blooms to a wooden cross that will be the centerpiece of the altar. This is the second year members have created the cross, continuing a longtime tradition started by fellow church member Jim Harney, former owner of Aberdeens Florist.
Harney designed the cross and ordered flowers from 14 different countries for the occasion. Black roses from Ecuador, Princess orchids from Thailand, edelweiss from Germany, double tulips from Holland and protea from Africa join carnations and daisies from America in the display. Purple and maroon petals, the colors of the church, fill the intersection of the cross, which is outlined with yellow daisies. Pale blue hydrangeas, glossy red anthurium and spiky golden protea and dozens of other varieties accent the display.
For 38 years, the cross was assembled at the flower shop; this is the second year church volunteers have provided the labor.
"After last year, I heard from people with the church that putting on the flowers made them feel closer to God," Harney said.
Volunteer florists agreed.
"Their aren't words to describe how you feel when you see it in the church," congregation member Barbara Dopp of Des Plaines said.
"Breathtaking," is how member Peggy Wajda put it.
The cross will adorn the altar for the 7 and 9:30 a.m. services. After the final service Easter morning, the cross will be moved outside onto the front porch of the church at Cora Street and Henry Avenue so passers-by and neighbors can enjoy it.
Bloom: Flowers from 14 different countries adorn cross