Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Palm Sunday or Willow Sunday

By Aussiegirl

Today is Palm Sunday for Orthodox Christians. In the Ukrainian church we call it "Willow Sunday". Since palms were not available in Ukraine, willow branches were blessed during the service. I remember that at the end of the service the parishioners would greet each other by tapping one another lightly on the shoulders three times and saying, "The willow taps you, not I, in a week it is Easter." (Verba bye, ne ya byu, za tyzhdyn Velykden) Of course as children, I remember really taking great pleasure whacking all my playmates and chasing about the church grounds -- we all did. A happy and blessed Palm or Willow Sunday to all my Orthodox friends and readers.


At 1:38 AM, Blogger BonnieBlueFlag said...

So, Aussiegirl, if I come to your house next Sunday, will I get more Easter eggs and chocolate bunnies? Tell us about how Easter is celebrated in the traditional Ukrainian home.

On Palm Sunday in the Catholic church, they bring in lots and lots of real palms at each church. The palms are then blessed by the parish priests, and everyone takes one or two pieces home. Most people will put their palms adjacent to a crucifix or a favorite holy picture. Some of the more creative people in the parish will take a few extra pieces and weave them into three dimensional religious items like a cross.

Since the palms have been blessed, when they become old and brittle we have to burn them to dispose of them.

Wishing my new Orthodox friends a blessed Palm or Willow Sunday too.

At 4:40 PM, Anonymous Pindar said...

Willow Sunday, such a beautiful phrase! And the sight of the children playing around the church while their parents participate in the service, such a cozy picture! This way, the church service gradually becomes part of one's childhood with all the attendent memories when one grows up, and it also makes going to church more pleasant, familiar, and prepares the child for the deeper understanding that comes as an adult.


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