Congregational Art: Påskris
If you have wondered about the tree with feathers in our sanctuary, here is a brief explanation. The Worship & Music Committee wanted to find a way to engage the worshipping community in an art project, like we did with the prayer flags for Advent through Epiphany. We did some research on Lent and Easter customs and found a tradition from Sweden that we adapted.
Around this time of year, the markets and flower shops in Sweden are filled with birch branches topped with feathers. Since there is very little blooming anywhere near Sweden, Påskris (Swedish Easter Trees), provide some color in streets and homes.
The color of a prayer flag also has a meaning. Blue is the preferred color for Advent, the color of hope. It represents the sky, especially the deep blue of a clear, predawn sky in the hours just before the sun rises in the east. In the “blue hour” before sunrise we can often still see the stars and the moon. We rise from our slumber in expectation and anticipation of what the new day will bring.
We set our Påskris in the place of the prayer candles. Instead of lighting prayer candles, worshipers are invited to hang feathers on the tree branches. As we journey from Lent to Easter joy the idea was to cover the tree branches with brightly colored feathers that symbolize our diverse prayers. A new color is introduced each week during Lent as we approach Easter Sunday. We pray that it will inspire us to not only be more ardent in our prayer life, but to realize how beautiful our life of prayer is to be.