Russian Women Discussion

RWD Discussion Groups => Starting Out => Topic started by: mendeleyev on April 22, 2019, 01:34:51 AM

Title: Easter 2019
Post by: mendeleyev on April 22, 2019, 01:34:51 AM
Yesterday was Pussy Willow Sunday across the Eastern world -- in the West we call it Palm Sunday. Typically the Orthodox celebration of Easter is different from when it is celebrated in the Western world. Next Sunday is Easter.

My Ukrainian is improving and now I sing in the choir and enjoy it immensely. I have a great teacher as the beautiful Mrs is a woman of many languages, Ukrainian being second nature for her. I do not have this talent and thus have to work at it. The payoff is that not only am I able to employ my voice, but it makes her very proud that I am her student.

At the end of the liturgy we filed up the aisle to kiss the cross held by the priest and because it was Pussy Willow Sunday each person was anointed with oil by the priest who made the sign of the cross on our foreheads with a tiny oil brush.

In Russian churches it is customary to also kiss the ring of the priest immediately after kissing the cross as the ring is a religious symbol of his dedication to the service of God. I do not find that as common in Ukrainian churches, but I do it almost subconsciously from habit and this priest obliges. I am perhaps the only one in the congregation who does this.

In most Russian churches it is common to buy pussy willow branches on street corners near a church but this Ukrainian church provided them at no charge. There was a large table to the side with some greenery and the pussy willow to take and create a display at home. Just before the close of the liturgy the priest blessed the branches with holy water and invited everyone to take some of the branches after kissing the cross.

Next week, on Easter Sunday there will be a procession around the exterior of the church in addition to an extra-long liturgy. I have sung in Russian choirs for the Easter liturgy but never previously in a Ukrainian language service. This week will require some additional study and practice on my part.

Like everyone else, we will take a basket of food to be blessed. In the baskets are traditionally foods that were prohibited during the 40 day Lenten fast.

Special greeting cards are still popular and these two are examples of cards displaying the pussy willow branches.

Title: Re: Easter 2019
Post by: mendeleyev on April 22, 2019, 01:47:23 AM
I was surprised to find the CBC at the service too! There are close to 1.5 million Ukrainians in Canada and the two nations have a special relationship so perhaps it shouldn't have been such a surprise.

The broadcast reporter was there to document how Easter is celebrated now that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is free from Moscow's control, a wonderful and momentous development from January of this year. He spoke Ukrainian but once he heard me speaking English to a friend after the liturgy he latched onto me and got a good 6-7 minutes or so with some very thoughtful questions about how Ukrainian Orthodox Christians are reacting to religious life free of Russian domination.

It was a pre-record so I have no idea how much of our chat will be used...if any...and when. He also interviewed the priest, choir director, and other parishioners so perhaps he found what he needed for his report.