Orthodox in South Ossetia are celebrating Palm Sunday in a pandemic

Sun, 12/04/2020 - 15:38

On Sunday, Orthodox believers are celebrating the Entrance of the Lord into Jerusalem, known as Palm Sunday. This year, due to the threat of coronavirus infection, the holiday services will be held with a minimal number of parishioners. The church recommended the parishioners to refrain from visiting churches on pre-Easter and Easter days until the restrictions imposed by the authorities are lifted. Festive services in all the churches of Ossetia will be held on Sunday.

This holiday is associated with a solemn day in the life of Jesus Christ, when He rode on a young donkey and drove into Jerusalem, and the whole city went out to meet him. As stated in the Gospel, people took off their outer clothing and threw them onto the road that Jesus rode on. They covered His path with palm branches and greeted with cries of "Hosanna!", As usual they addressed only to the king. The reason for the rejoicing was the miracle that Jesus performed on the eve of Jesus, having raised Lazarus and thereby proved his right to be called the Son of God.

The Feast of the Lord's Entry into Jerusalem is considered to be especially revered among believers, since, according to the Gospel, on this day the Lord revealed His Kingdom on earth, calling people to become subjects of a person whose only weapon was love. This day is also considered a symbol of the future accession of God.

On the last Sunday before Easter (this year it falls on April 19) it is customary to consecrate willow branches - the first plant that comes to life after a long winter. Thus, the willow branches in Russia as if replaced palm branches. The people believed that the consecrated willow cleanses and drives away evil spirits. Willow twigs were placed in the front corner behind the icon and kept all year.

This time, taking into account the epidemiological situation, believers were warned that they themselves could bless the willow by sprinkling it with baptismal water.

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