The Holy Week is also called White or Pure. This is due to the fact that at this time, Christians need to take care of their inner spiritual world, the purification of the soul and body. On such days, the Orthodox Church does not celebrate the days of its Saints, does not commemorate the dead and does not hold such sacraments as a wedding, baptism. This is the week before Easter, every day of which is great and holy. Orthodox Christians spend this time, assiduously praying and abiding in strict abstinence.
Consider each day separately. What unites this period is that each of the great days under consideration is filled with sorrow and sorrow. It is not surprising that the Holy Week implies a period of strict fasting. At the end of this week comes Easter holiday.
On Monday, the story of the fig tree is recalled, on which Jesus did not find the fruit and dried it. This barren tree symbolizes souls who do not bring spiritual fruits in the Kingdom of God. During the divine service, the biblical Joseph is also remembered-the son of Jacob, whom the brothers sold into slavery. Like Joseph in the New Testament, the Jews, after hating Christ, betrayed his death on the cross.
The book "Genesis" reports that Joseph was taken out of prison and placed over Egypt. Also, Christ, coming out of the tomb of the resurrected, became the King of the World. There are allowed vegetables, fruits, bread.
Holy Week - Tuesday. Christians reflect on the coming of the Last Judgment, the resurrection of the dead. In the Church they tell a parable about the ten virgins and call upon the parishioners to stay awake. The Orthodox is reminded that the Heavenly Bridegroom takes away the wise virgins who have taken care of the oil for their lamps. Eat on this day is hot without the presence of vegetable oils in food.
Wednesday of Holy Week is the day in which Christ was betrayed to suffering. Believers compare the penitent sinner Mary from Magdala and Judas Iscariot, who, having chosen the death of the Spirit, betrayed his Master and Lord.
This day is significant for the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, for the termination of the great bows. Folk traditions prescribe the collection of snow on the ravines and water the cattle slithering with water. Performing such a ritual supposedly provides protection of the yard from various diseases.
On the day of Great Thursday, also called "Quarter", the Church recalls the following events:
- The Last Supper.
- Washing the Lord with the feet of his disciples.
- Prayer in the garden of Gethsemane.
Russian customs prescribe to wake up before the dawn comes and begin to cleanse yourself and your house. Folk traditions call this day "Pure Thursday". Accordingly, believers at this time seek both spiritual and bodily purification.
Candles, lit in the church and brought into their homes, according to tradition bring happiness. Earlier, consecrated candles on the door jambs burned a cross in order to protect their homes.
Another rite was widely spread. It's about swimming in the hole, dousing with clean water. The custom of the consecration of salt, which was put together with bread the night before on the table, was preserved. "Thursday salt" was also wrapped in a clean rag, and then baked in the oven. Thus, it was cleansed from filth.
On this day, eggs are painted, as well as preparing for the Easter holiday table, cleaning and laundry.
The Holy Week of Great Friday is the most mournful time of mourning. Divine services are dedicated to the crucifixion and death of Christ. Liturgy is absent, and Christians keep burning candles - a symbol of the greatness of the Lord. It is customary for beggars to give alms, it is customary to distribute various foods to poor people.
On the Great Sabbath, one should prepare for the coming of the Resurrection of Christ. After the morning service in all temples Easter, Easter eggs, Easter cakes are consecrated. Priests clothe in light clothes and conduct a liturgy. Believers try to get to the evening service for the Easter celebration.