Nobody seems to knows who first came up with the idea of the Flowering Cross. It’s not unique to Springfield – a number of churches do it. It’s a tradition which goes back hundreds of years.
Mark Stroud built our cross m any years ago, using timbers he took out of an old North Carolina barn. The rough wood is very similar to the rough beams of the cross that Jesus carried. It’s pretty heavy!
Flowers for the cross are donated by individuals and by Ellington’s Florist in loving memory of Annie Ellington who was a longtime member of Springfield.
On Easter Sunday, we transform the ugly, empty cross with the crown of thorns into something beautiful – a symbol of life. During the service, everyone comes down front and takes a flower and attaches it to the cross.
People of all ages come chatting and laughing down the aisle, but when they come to the cross, their faces take on a special solemnity. Jesus’ life is greater than death, that death never has the last word. New life flowers where we didn’t expect it.
During the COVID epidemic, when large gatherings were impossible, we managed to keep the Flowering Cross going. Tom Terrell and Sharon Shelley used time-lapse photography to make a slow-motion movie, as the cross silently grew and transformed all by itself. Hundreds of people watched the movie on Facebook!