Useful Tips

Temple floristics - the art of decorating the temple


If a religious group has existed for more than fifteen years, the following documents must be provided for registration:

- application for registration.
- A list of citizens creating a religious organization, indicating citizenship, date of birth and place of residence.
- the charter of the created religious organization,
- minutes of the constituent assembly (at least 10 people must be present at the meeting).
- a document confirming the existence of a religious group in this territory for at least fifteen years, or confirmation of its entry into a centralized religious organization.
- the main provisions of the dogma and a description of the practices used, information on the forms and methods of its activity, on the attitude to the family and marriage, to education, to military service.
- Information on the location of the governing body of the created religious organization.
- receipt of state duty payment.

the main task

Church floristics has many tasks, but the main one is the harmony of floral decoration with architectural features, temple paintings and carvings. It is important to consider that religious shrines are decorated not only with flowers, but also with rich salaries, numerous draperies, embroidered vestments and boards.

Temple floristics need to emphasize the relationship between man and nature. It should reveal the beauty of the world created by the Creator, and lead to the idea that man is part of this world.

Living material or artificial

There are no prohibitions on decorating temples with artificial flowers. If there is no possibility or means to use living plants, then bouquets and garlands can be made up of fabric or paper flowers. But nevertheless, preference should be given to the living, since one living flower is endowed with greater grace than a whole armful of artificial jewelry.

What is used to compose temple compositions

Temple floristics are not only bouquets in vases. Decorations are made in the form of wreaths, garlands, living flowering walls and arches. As a basis, floral oases are usually used. For weaving garlands take the greens of ruscus, asparagus, arborvitae or spruce paws. Frames for garlands and arches are made of wire of various thicknesses and stiffnesses.

Types of flowers

Florists never use poisonous flowers and plants with a strong intoxicating odor in their compositions. This rule is strictly observed. Also refrain from prickly plants. When used in jewelry, roses, they completely remove the thorns. It is customary to refrain from using exotic species such as protea and anthurium.

Temple floristry prefers roses, tulips, lisianthus, ammarilis, not smelling lilies, daffodils, gerberas, onitogalum, dendrobium, irises, gladioli, gypsophila, chrysanthemums.

Floral arrangements are often supplemented with rowan berries or viburnum - both live and dried. Branches of various trees are used in large numbers.

What places in the temple are usually decorated with flowers

The Orthodox Church, unlike the Protestant and Catholic, does not welcome too abundant and lush floral decorations. Therefore, flower decoration (temple floristry) is required to strike a balance between modesty and the need to express a festive mood. By tradition, flowers decorate not only the temple itself, but also the territory around it.

Before starting work, always consult with the priest of the temple. He explains the preferences in the choice of material, colors and places for decoration. Floral decorations are placed around the most revered icons, decorate the remote cross, ceiling and wall lamps and candlesticks. In addition, do not forget about the shroud, doors and doorways, entrances and arches. Attention is always paid to the Cancer with holy relics, analogue and the Royal Gates.

Photo story about who decorates the temples and how

On a festive day, the temple is transformed, at the revered icon bouquets, the iconostasis is decorated with garlands of floral arrangements. Outside the window there is a snowstorm, snow, slurry underfoot, and inside there is an amazing vibrant beauty. And it was not invited “pros” who created it, but the parishioners of the temple themselves — church florists or, in a simple way, flower girls.

Six hours of searching

Two days before the feast day - the day of remembrance of the holy martyr Tatiana. In the large indoor premises of the Riga market in Moscow, noise, people choose, bargain, sellers vying to offer goods:
- For whom are you? For a respectable man? For a daughter?
- We would have something tender for mom.
- Hello! - suddenly one of the sellers notices us. - For a long time you were gone, look what tea roses we brought today. I'll wrap you up now, wait.
Flowers are carefully packed for us and they are simply given to us. We have known the seller for a long time, he knows that we buy flowers for the temple.

On the market. In addition to individual flowers, bouquets must be selected for guests to decorate: Archbishop Eugene Vereisky and MSU Rector V. A. Sadovnichy

This time the three of us walk the market - Tatyana Olegovna, mother Marina and me. For six hours (so much time is usually spent only on selection and purchase), we have already memorized the current assortment, prices, and went along and across all rows dozens of times. Mother and I obediently follow our authority, Tatyana Olegovna, although she does not perceive herself like that at all, she consults with us all the time. We buy roses, lupins, orchids, hyacinths and several types of green branches. My mother and I went several times with boxes to the car. We carry it as a jewel - winter is on the street, everything is gray.

We park at the door of the temple in the evening. Unload carefully packed bundles of flowers

Finally, when everything has already been bought, packed, packed in a car, we hit the road through the traffic jams of snowy Moscow. In the church, parishioners have long been waiting for us, for many years helping to decorate it for the holiday. Everyone pours out to help us move boxes. In the narthex, it seems that the whole market has moved here - so many different colors! We unpack, sort, arrange in large glass vases, share the joy of "extraction". When all the flowers are taken apart, the main action begins.

Gothic and bells

Tatyana Olegovna Jensen has been engaged in flowers in the house church of the martyr Tatiana at Moscow State University for many years, almost since its revival. We all secretly feel and acknowledge its primacy. It all started with the fact that once she was just given the money from the cash register and asked to buy flowers and decorate the church for the holiday.
- We have a huge temple, a huge parish, but there is not a single professional florist. Therefore, we are all lovers, ”our main florist with great experience modestly explains.“ I would love to graduate from special courses, but there is no time. After all, by trial and error we simply invent some kind of bikes when there are exact techniques! But still, this occupation is very dear to me. As a child, I loved to collect flowers more than anything else. From the age of five I was looking for them on the railway slopes, I understood where they grow, what to stack up with. And suddenly, in old age, I have such happiness - I can decorate the temple!
- And how do you choose flowers in the market? Do you have any concept in advance?
- I think about everything in advance and sometimes I even see compositions in a dream! But the market may not offer you what you intended. Finally, everything develops during this endless walk between the counters. The main thing when choosing is to get into the color of the holiday. Annunciation, Baptism - the main color is white, Trinity, reverends - green and so on. There are problems.

Professor, Candidate of Physical and Mathematical Sciences Tatyana Maksimilianovna Lyubimova arranges flowers brought from the market in buckets of water

Suppose there is a lot of white, but where do you get blue and blue for the Virgin holidays? Cornflowers and bells? Nobody ever sells them. For me, despite a lot of experience, composing compositions each time is akin to solving a rebus. After all, even white compositions do not want to be made up of the same colors each time, you always think how to add something new. And with the new one, because of the prevailing market trends, everything is not easy. Here is a rose painted in all colors of the rainbow, another shimmers with purple. Black Gothic, in a word! This is not good for us. Such fake, dirty shades do not even lead to sadness - they are talking about decadence, they are talking about dying. There is one more professional trend, and I don’t like it even more - it is corporate design, as I call it. When all items are from glossy magazines. The most striking example is fashionable Christmas trees, more like carpet paths decorated with the same balls. Nothing alive!

The basis for the future composition is a special green sponge. It is cut into long sausages. Sausages are placed in buckets of water, then packed in polyethylene and wrapped in a green plastic mesh - it is convenient to hang ready-made compositions on hooks above the icons and on top of the iconostasis. So the flowers are constantly in a humid environment and stay fresh for a long time. First you need to place the greens - the leafy leaves of a southern plant, delicate leaves and thin twigs. Then the cut buds are neatly laid out next to them in the color of the holiday, so that they are enough for all sausages. We look, try on, shift. It seems everything is fine, it fits. We gradually begin to stick flowers through the film into the swollen sponge at different angles.

Father Paul gives valuable guidance on how to properly cut the grid. Then it will be wrapped in a floral sponge soaked in water

“The pros, of course, are all insanely neat and accurate,” says Tatyana Olegovna. “You know, one day one of the florists asked me:“ How many flowers do you have per meter? ”For me it was just a shock. How - per meter? How many lilies are there, how many roses, carnations? I already swallowed my tongue. Although, if done correctly, you need to calculate in advance. Trying to be neat, but the way they are, we can’t. We are still not professionals. But do not despair. After all, what is brought to the church thanks to the flowers? Bringing vibrant beauty! And this holiday is different from everyday service - as if you are in a special world! Before starting work, we always pray together, because for each of us this is not a formal procedure. Even if there was nobody in the church, we would still decorate it with the same zeal.

Andrei Maximov and Alena Dushka climb up the scaffolding to attach floral arrangements above the iconostasis

First, the main composition is composed. Tatyana Olegovna invites everyone to see if everything is in place, which is missing. And everyone adds their own strokes to the picture that is not yet complete.
Today we decided to calculate how many types of flowers were used. And it turned out that only in the composition around the festive icon there were 15 of them! This is without taking into account the greens of different varieties, which must be in order to create the feeling of a living field. Fields where you want to run barefoot.

With a palm tree in Moscow

When our garlands are ready, we very carefully transfer them to the salt and check for the last time: is everything harmonious, are there any errors in the layout, is the symmetry broken? We advise, add the finishing touches: somewhere there is not enough green, somewhere yellow. And then comes the moment when everyone likes everything, everyone joyfully smiles. The altar boys prepared for us a five-meter building structure with a platform at the top. Andrei and Alena climb to the eaves of the iconostasis. We also do not stand aside: who brings the composition, who on both sides holds the structure for stability, who carefully feeds the garlands up.

We disassemble gerberas, each stalk must be wrapped with a thin wire for stability

We finish already at two in the morning. Everyone who did not have time on the subway, Tatyana Olegovna leads to her night - she lives a stone's throw from the temple, in an old apartment with tall ceilings. We drink tea before bedtime. Tomorrow it will be necessary to get up early in order to finish everything before the all-night service.
When Tatyana Olegovna was just born, her grandmother planted a date palm - she simply ate a date and put a bone in an empty tub. The palm tree was waving to an incredible size, almost to the ceiling. I remind Tatyana Olegovna how about fifteen years ago our altars, the current priests Igor and Pavel, went on a procession with branches of this palm.

Responsible business: Alla Mitrofanova decorates a candle for a priest

“You understand, she lived at our house for more than fifty years, and just then there was absolutely nothing to decorate the temple with.” I cut the leaves. How did they go! Like in Jerusalem itself - with palm branches!
In the morning an early rise. We run to the temple, I want to finish everything, to the smallest detail, so that the very first parishioners who came to the service immediately feel the atmosphere of the holiday.

Mother Marina Konotopova is carefully selecting branches of greenery to decorate the floor candle. It is this candle that will be placed before the Royal Gates on the Eucharistic canon

- People sometimes say that too much money is spent on flowers - why, they say, is this necessary? - I ask Tatyana Olegovna.
“You know how many times they scolded me!” I just asked the rector what to do? He says: spend all the money they give you. And after that I calmed down. What money was given for flowers, we spend. And do not philosophize crafty. I understand perfectly well when there is nothing to pay a salary, but here for flowers ... And what, without flowers - is it possible in a church? When the construction of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior began, the newspapers wrote: what a disgrace, how much money goes, it would be better to build kindergartens! But then in life there would be nothing! Neither the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, nor the Cologne Cathedral, not even the Intercession on the Nerl, I think, would not exist. Where is the limit? When the "extra" beauty can be allowed, and when is it too much? I do not know. Other times will come - we will proceed from the minimum. Although I am sure that in the most difficult situation, fresh flowers will surely be in front of our altar.

At the announcement, Tatyana Olegovna Jensen collects a bouquet for the festive icon of St. the torment. Tatians. Photo by Julia Makoveichuk

Temple Decoration for Holy Holidays: Christmas

All holy holidays have well-established features that are observed by church floristics. For the Christmas holidays, for example, in the temples they always put a magnificent spruce. And in the design they use a large number of spruce branches and small trees in flowerpots. It is acceptable to replace young trees with cone-shaped flower arrangements. Flowers in compositions of yellow or white. They should symbolize purity and create an atmosphere of miracle. All holiday decorations are performed in a single style, creating a common composition of the external and internal decoration.

Palm Sunday

Temple floristry is also actively involved on this day. Palm Sunday is celebrated 7 days before Easter. It symbolizes the entry of the Lord into Jerusalem. The festive decoration uses palm branches and fluffy willow. On this holiday willow branches are consecrated, and parishioners take them home. Palm bouquets are not thrown away, but dried and stored. Often in water, the roots sprout, then the willow is planted in a convenient place.

At Easter, the temples are decorated especially carefully. Use lush compositions in white or red-white colors. Often bouquets are complemented by orange flowers. In the bright decoration of the temple, the florist must express a nationwide glee that filled the hearts of Christians.

Often on both sides of the Royal Doors have an egg-shaped composition, which is the main symbol of the holiday. The entrance to the temple is decorated with the greeting “Christ is Risen!”, Which is made up of fresh flowers fixed in a floral oasis.

Traditionally, the Trinity in the decoration of temples is dominated by green. Green birch branches, meadow grasses and wildflowers are used. The festive decoration of the temple looks lush and multi-colored, creating a feeling of freshness.

Mother of God holidays

Decoration for all the holidays of the Virgin is kept in white, blue and blue. This is due to the fact that the vestment of the clergy on this day consists of the same tones. The Shroud is decorated with blue flowers, emphasizing the sublimity and cordiality of the relationship with the Queen of Heaven. The flower of the Immaculate Mother of God is considered a lily. Florists complement the composition with white roses, gypsophila, chrysanthemums and freesia.

Correspondence of the interior of the temple with the color scheme of the vestments of the clergy is one of the basic rules of temple floristics. This is the first thing newcomers to the industry are told about. Decoration also depends on the financial possibilities of the parishioners. Florists have to consider how much a temple can spend on decorating. In small churches, parishioners collect most of the green ornaments (branches of deciduous and coniferous trees) on their own.