The White and the Red of Christmas

Over the coming Sundays of Advent parishioners have an immediate opportunity to support the Community Ministries of the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa in one of two ways:

Via the white envelopes set out each year to receive funding donations destined help support these ministries or

  • By arranging for a poinsettia plant at a suggested donation of forty dollars, the Altar Guild will adorn the pews in time for Christmas and honour the memory of parishioners’ loved ones with profits from the poinsettia’s also going to support the work of community ministries.
  • Community Ministries with the Anglican Dioces of Ottawa are about choosing hope and changing lives. They include St. Luke’s Table, Centre 454, The Well/ La Source, Cornerstone House for Women and the work of the Ottawa Pastoral Counselling Centre. For complete information visit

There is a wealth of information online about how the radiant red of poinsettia plants became the floral symbol of Christmas. Suffice to say they are native to Central America. Though known by the species name euphorbia pulcherima their popularity spread in the latter half of the 19th century thanks to the efforts of the American Ambassador to Mexico Joel Roberts Poinsett. Tradition has it that the shape of the poinsettia flower and leaves symbolize the Star of Bethlehem which led the Wise Men to Jesus. The red colored leaves symbolize the blood of Christ. The white leaves represent his purity.