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Russian Church celebrates Palm Sunday
Photo credit: kfaktiv.ru
On April 12, Orthodox believers celebrate the feast of the Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem, or Palm Sunday, TASS reports.
On this day, Jesus Christ arrived in Jerusalem. The people there met him as a king with palm branches in their hands, as people learned that on the way to the city, he raised Lazarus from the dead. In honor of this day, Palm Sunday is called Lazarus Saturday.
In countries where palm trees grow, believers bring them to the temples on this day. Those worshippers, who do not have palm branches available where they live, bring other plants. For example, for Italians, the symbol of the holiday is the branches of olive trees, for the French - boxwood, rosemary and laurel.
In Russia, the willow is a symbol of the holiday. Traditionally blossoming willow branches are consecrated at the evening service before the holiday. In some families, it is customary to keep them throughout the year. There is a belief that willow helps to cure diseases, protects the house and drives away evil spirits.
Given the restrictive measures aimed at combating the spread of the coronavirus infection, the Russian Orthodox Church asks parishioners to consecrate willows at home without visiting the temple. To do this, one need to read the troparia of the feast of the Entrance of the Lord into Jerusalem and sprinkle the willow with holy water three times.
Since the holiday falls on fasting, worshippers cannot eat meat, milk, eggs, cheese, sour cream, cottage cheese, animal butter, butter bread and pastries. It is allowed to add fish and wine to the menu.
Tomorrow, April 13, Holy Week begins - the last and most severe week of Lent. It will end with the celebration of Easter. This year, the Russian Orthodox Church celebrates it on April 19.
Parishioners of the Russian Orthodox Church are advised to stay at home on Palm Sunday, Holy Week and Easter days.