Today, the week before Easter Sunday, features Palm Sunday.
Ukraine abounds with Ukrainian Orthodox traditions, of course. A few days before and on Palm Sunday, vendors sell small clusters of pussy willow branches.
See them lying on the table near the red tulips?
On Palm Sunday, you take your bundle of pussy willows to the Orthodox temple and the priest makes them holy by sprinkling them with holy water. Here is our neighborhood’s Orthodox temple:
Here is a couple carrying their made-holy pussy willows home.
At home, they are scattered about, or placed beside the icons, or kept in a vase somewhere. They are also scattered about other places, like the entryways of our apartment buildings. For example, In the entry of the House of Culture where our church rents the hall for services:
Culturally, it’s fascinating. But you know, Jesus makes His people holy, not a human priest, not their water, not the pussy willows. Really, it’s only Jesus– God, who became a man and lived without sin. His blood, applied to us by our faith in Him alone, makes us holy.
Thank you, God, for making us holy. For blessing us with holiness every day. For making our bodies into your holy temple by the Holy Spirit living in us.
2 Tim 1:9 “ He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time.”
2 Тим. 1:9 “Спасшего нас и призвавшего званием святым, не по делам нашим, но по Своему изволению и благодати, данной нам во Христе Иисусе прежде вековых времем…”