Passion flowers are large and medium-sized blooms available in colors such as purple, blue, red and pink. The flower gets its name from Roman Catholic priests, who derived it from the Latin word “passio” for the passion of Christ, according to Texas A&M. Several parts of the passion flower have specific meanings that pertain to Jesus Christ. The university’s research has also revealed that the five petals and five sepals represent the 10 disciples who were faithful to Christ throughout his suffering and crucifixion. The passion flower also has pointy leaves, which are a symbol of the spear that was pierced into Jesus’ side during his Passion. The dark thread-like structures in the center of the bloom represent the crown of thorns that Christ wore when he was crucified.
The white Madonna lily is also an appropriate flower to use as communion altar decoration, since the plant is a symbol of purity. The white petals of the flower denote Mary’s virginity, making her fit to give birth to Christ. The yellow or gold stamens in the center of the lily are a sign of Mary’s illuminated soul and willingness to obey God after the angel came to her and revealed that she would become pregnant with Jesus. The Easter lily is also appropriate Communion decor, since the trumpet shape of the flower denotes joy, life and hope–sentiments Christians embrace during Easter in association with the resurrection of Christ.
Red and white roses can serve as symbols of Christian purity and righteousness as well as bloodshed and sacrifice. Red roses were often displayed to honor martyrs, according to Rev. Theodore A. Koehler. The flowers represent Mary, the mother of Christ. Koehler also states that the rose is seen as “queen of flowers,” and Mary is perceived as Queen of Heaven and Earth in the Catholic church. The five petals of the rose flowers represent the wounds Christ endured during the crucifixion, and red roses on the Communion altar will remind those who participate of the blood that Christ shed on the cross, according to the University of Dayton.