Today is the beginning of Holy Week for Christians around the world. Easter Sunday is next week--as early as it can be according to the calendars. Today, I spent the morning in church at St. Georges Anglican.
We have always had palm fronds on this Sunday at my church in America, so I was a bit surprised to see olive branches today. Now, I dont really know if this is because there is easy access to palm trees in Phoenix and not so much in Venice or if there is another reason altogether, but nonetheless, we celebrated with them.
After the blessing of the olive branches (we each got one), we sang a hymn and actually left the church building and walked around outside in the campo as a symbolic processional. What a nice word picture it created for us and for all the onlookers and tourists.
On the walk home, I saw so many other people carrying olive branches around the city--some of the kids had enough that it looked like they were carrying a whole tree! It was a nice community feeling for this special day.
On Good Friday, we will have services at 1:30pm like I remember it happening when I was a kid. Its good to know that there are some places left in the world where they still honor those traditions. And, of course, next Sunday is the celebration service of Easter itself.
I wish you a blessed week and hope that however you choose to ponder the events in history, that you will be filled with peace and hope.