Wishing all our friends in the West a blessed Easter and celebration of the resurrection. Easter dates are calculated a little differently in the Eastern world and today we celebrate what you would call Palm Sunday, although Christians in the East call it “Pussywillow Sunday” (С Вербным Воскресеньем!) for the Pussywillow branches symbolizing the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem.
THE RESURRECTION AND THE WILLOW
In Slavic lands the willows grow,
By streams and bogs and waters low.
The ancient Slavic peoples saw,
That willows bloom before the thaw,
When warm winds end the frigid cold,
And break, at last, the winter’s hold,
To greet the spring and celebrate,
The vernal advent’s advocate,
Of growth, renewal, life and light,
And set the cosmic order right.
The Slavic peoples gathered in,
The flow’ring willow branches in,
Their homes to decorate anew,
To cure their ills, their lives renew.
Then one day there came from far,
A new religion which would bar,
The grasp of ancient evils’ hold,
Upon the Slavic souls as told,
By True Glory’s saving creeds,
To grant men life and serve their needs.
The Word Made Flesh who lived and died,
And rose again as verified,
By Holy Writ and voices old,
Who testified as was foretold.
Christ is risen from the dead,
And by His death as truly said,
He trampled death and life He gave,
To those who lie within the grave.
And thus the lowly willow came,
The Resurrection to proclaim,
Bear witness to the Great Event,
For which the Holy One was sent.
So when the cold of winter ends,
The message that the willow sends,
And that the flow’ry branches say:
NEXT WEEK IS RESURRECTION DAY!