|Posted on April 6, 2019 at 12:10 AM|
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
We are already in the fourth week of the Great and Holy Lent. This is a gentle reminder that the schedule of the church services for the month of April and Easter can be found on our church's website, or you may obtain a hard copy next time you come for a service. We urge you to try to attend as many services as possible, so that you may be with your Lord during the days, as He, voluntarily, is undergoing suffering on the Cross so that, with Him, you may also enter into the joy of His and our Resurrection.
We use this opportunity to invite all our church school children and their parents to take part in the great Feast of the resurrection of Lazarus (Lazarus' Saturday) and the royal entry of Christ into Jerusalem.
Lazarus' Saturday, or Vrbica, is celebrated the day before Palm Sunday, which always falls on the sixth week of the Great Lent. It is dedicated to the resurrection of the four-day Lazarus, and the entry of Christ to Jerusalem. At His entry, the children welcomed and greeted Him solemnly.
At Orthodox vesper services on this Holy day, young willow branches are brought into the church. After the blessing of the willow branches, the priest distributes these to the congregation, who form a procession with church banners, fans, and candles. The people then walk around the church three times singing the troparion of Lazarus' Saturday.
This holiday especially, is a holiday of children. For that day, the children come dressed in particularly nice clothes and wear bells around their necks attached to the three coloured ribbon or trobojka. Children rejoice and take part in the procession around the church. The blessed willow branches are brought home and placed next to the Slava icon and candle.
Voluntarily, with this holiday, the great Easter holidays begin.
Please, join us for this Great Feast and bring your children to welcome our Lord as He enters Jerusalem.