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Passion Week Marked by Religious Ceremonies, Easter Preparations

9. April 2012 by Christy 0 Comments

Easter may have come and gone here in the States, but for folks following the Orthodox calendar the religious holiday doesn't come until April 15. Religious Russians are now observing Passion Week, a week dedicated to the events leading up to Jesus Christ's crucifixion and resurrection.

“Passion Week is the road upon which the Lord suffered for the salvation of humankind,” Hieromonk Dmitry Pershin, a representative of the Russian Patriarch’s Office, said in an interview with the Voice of Russia. “It is a time when we temporarily forget about our own sins and keep our minds entirely on God’s great sacrifice.”

Passion Week honors the events that lead up to Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection – Judas’s betrayal (Wednesday), the Last Supper (Thursday), the crucifixion (Friday), and Jesus’ burial (Saturday). Many Christians believe that fire miraculously appears on Christ’s sepulcher in Jerusalem on Holy Saturday, and hundreds travel to the city to see the miracle with their own eyes.

Yesterday (April 8th), Orthodox Christians observed Palm Sunday, a day honoring the afternoon Jesus entered Jerusalem a week before his crucifixion. The day is known as Palm Sunday because residents of Jerusalem greeted Jesus by covering the road in palm fronds. Next Sunday (April 15th) Orthodox Christians will celebrate Easter, the day Jesus was resurrected.


However, Passion Week isn't all somber. Though Russian and Ukrainian women celebrate Easter in various ways, common traditions include preparing pascha and kulich, two kinds of Easter sweet bread, creating pysanky, exquisitely decorated eggs that are famous around the world, and attending Easter basket blessings and family feasts. 


Thought you'd forgotten to wish your lady a happy Easter? You're in luck. There's still six days to wish your special lady a happy holiday by sending her a gift basket or an Easter e-card.