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Easter In Belgorod 2012
 
 
     
 
 
Russian Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant churches celebrate Easter on the 15th of April 2012 Palm Sunday. There are many examples of sacred or devotional traditions in the week from Palm Sunday through Easter.
On Palm Sunday people bring Pussy Willow branches to church to be blessed. Pussy Willow branches are used instead of palms
to celebrate this event, which symbolize new life.
 

Holy Thursday

Holy Thursday (Clean Thursday) is the day the Russian Orthodox Church remembers the Last Supper of Jesus with his apostles.
On this day the bishops wash the feet of priests as a sign of humility and carrying out what Jesus Christ had instructed to his 12 disciples while Christ himself was washing their feet.
The Gospel According To Saint John 13.1, “Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that
he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.
2. And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him; 3. Jesus
knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; 4. He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. 5. After that he poureth water into a bason, and
began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. 6. Then cometh he to Simon Peter:
and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? 7. Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. 8. Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. 9. Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. 10. Jesus
saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. 11. For
he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean. 12. So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? 13. Ye call me Master and Lord: and
ye say well; for so I am. 14. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet.
15. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. 16. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is
not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. 17. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye
do them.”


Holy Friday
 
Holy Friday (Good Friday), is the day Christians remember Jesus being crucified on the cross to save people from sin. Services
on this day are dedicated to Jesus Christ’s crucifixion and burial. In the afternoon on this day an embroidery of the shroud of
Jesus or and Icon is placed in the middle of the church until the beginning of Sunday’s Easter services.
The Gospel According To Saint John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world;
but that the world through him might be saved. 18. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19. And this is the
condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20.
For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 21. But he that
doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.”

   
Holy Saturday
 
Holy Saturday is the last day of Holy week and Easter is the final day of Lent. Saturday night service begins at 11:30pm as
brethren gather around the outside of the church to take part in ceremony of the buried Christ. At midnight the doors to the
Church of Holy Saint George were opened and the precession of priests and alter boys came through the doors and the head
priest announced “Christ has risen”. The brethren reply back, “he has risen indeed”. The brethren followed the priest around the complex and into the new Cathedral of Holy Saints Vera, Nadezda, Lubov and their mother Sofia. The service ended at 4a.m. Sunday morning.

     
Easter Sunday

The Holy Fire ritual, which has been observed for centuries started in Jerusalem. Each year the fire ignites spontaneously. Thousands of brethren attend the ritual two have their candles lit from this fire. A small amount of that fire arrived in Moscow for the Saturday night service. Belgorod received the Holy Fire at the Preobrazhensky Cathedral at 1:30pm Sunday afternoon. The
fire will be burning for six days in this Cathedral. At 3:30p.m, the religious procession from the Preobrazhensky Cathedral to the main square in downtown took place. The outdoor service lasted a couple of hours and afterwards there was music and dancing performances.

    
 
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