What Does Hanging of the Greens Represent?

By Ellen Queen
Church Member

Advent is a season of preparation for Jesus’ birth and the second coming, and that preparation includes our worship spaces.  So how were the Sanctuary, Narthex and Gathering Room prepared?  Susan Smith, current chair of the Worship Committee, and her team of 15 helpers (plus several JCUMC boy scouts) were able to complete the hanging of the greens and other adornments in just over three hours!  That included volunteers climbing up on ladders to reach some of the highest places.  The following day, several others tidied up by taping cords down, fluffing up the garland and cleaning up after the decorating.

All of the decorations around the church are much more than just pretty ornamentation.

Each has a special meaning directing us towards Christ:

Greenery is associated with everlasting life

Wreaths are circles that symbolize eternity – they have no beginning or end

The Christmas tree in the sanctuary is covered in crosses and crowns to point to Jesus as King of King as well as to his death and resurrection

The blue altar clothes and stoles worn by the choir and clergy signify hope.

The four candles circling the Advent wreath represent the four Sundays in Advent: (1) Hope, (2) Love, (3) Joy and (4) Peace.  The center candle, the Christ candle, is lit on Christmas Eve.  As one child explained, “That’s Jesus’ birthday candle.  You can’t light it until it’s His birthday.”

A great deal of work goes into preparing the sanctuary for worship.  The next project is, of course, taking down and storing the greenery after Epiphany in January.  In addition to donning and doffing the greens, the Worship Committee works to coordinate and help with the flowers, scripture readers, communion, baptisms, acolytes, and other special projects.

If you are interested in helping with any of these activities, please email us at connect@johnscreekumc.org.  Many hands make light work.