19:13 * RUSSIA * RELIGION * HOLYWEEK *
RUSSIA'S ORTHODOX CHRISTIANS
CELEBRATING PALM SUNDAY
MOSCOW, April 4, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - Russia's
Orthodox Christian community is observing Palm Sunday, the first day of
Holy Week. Patriarch Alexis II of Moscow and All Russia will perform
tonight a festive service at the city's major church, the Cathedral of
Christ the Redeemer, the Moscow Patriarchate's external church relations
unit has announced.
As is known, Palm Sunday celebrates Jesus' triumphal entry into
Jerusalem after three years of preaching in the hinterlands of Israel.
When He rode into the city, crowds would cheer Him as their Messiah,
laying garments and palm branches at His feet.
In Russia, pussy willow branches are traditionally used in
commemorating the occasion, for the pussy willow is the first tree to
bloom here in early spring. Russian worshippers bring branches with silky
gray-haired blooms into church for Palm (or Passion) Sunday services to
praise Jesus as Lord.
© 2001 RIA