Q: Fr. Paul, maybe I am a bit too sensitive about the observance of secular holidays that fall on weekends. When I saw the weekend flower order for 2 arrangements that are placed by the tabernacle in the center of the church behind the altar- red, white and blue, I did cringe.
Do you have any suggestions? I was going to offer a suggestion of light blue hydrangeas with some red flowers, a bit less of the traditional patriotic. Thanks for the work you do.
A: I think the USCCB’s recommendations pertaining to the American flag could be used for guidance. https://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/sacred-art-and-music/architecture-and-environment/display-of-flags-in-catholic-churches
Personally, I’m fine with some patriotic decoration in church for celebrations such as Independence Day. Nor did I object when our decorators festooned a few plants with cloth the same color as our football team when we went to the Super Bowl. If done subtly, it lets people know that the church is aware of civil celebrations that make an impact on the people who worship there.
Depending on the space, decorating the tabernacle with patriotic colors sounds a bit much. If there were some subtler place for red, white and blue flowers, even by the entrance of the church, I think it’s fine.