Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A church service and a walk in the park

Today is Holy Wednesday, traditionally the day when children in particular receive a sacrament called Euchelaion (from the words euche meaning "prayer", and elaion meaning "oil"). This involves attending a short church service, followed by a blessing. The priest dips cotton wool in specially blessed olive oil and uses it to make the sign of the cross on children's foreheads. After a morning spent shopping for Easter gifts, the goddaughter and I attended this church service.

We arrived early to have a look around the church. As you can see, it's decorated in purple - the colour of mourning in Greece, along with black.

Hundreds of people attended the church service. Luckily everyone made orderly queues (well, by Greek standards anyway).

There was a stand outside the church for those who wanted to take some of the blessed oil back home to those members of the family unable to attend.

What you had to do is take a piece of cotton wool, dip it in oil and wrap it in aluminium foil for safe carrying. Easy peasy.

After the service, we went for a walk at the local park.

Spring has definitely sprung - a little early this year it seems. Not that we're complaining, the weather's perfect at the moment, not too hot and not too cool.

There were peacocks roaming freely in the park, and we got to see several with beautiful fanned-out tails.

The birds seemed used to having people walk around them, trying to feed them or take photos. This young man in particular was keen to pose for us.


Shionge said...

What a beautiful day and the flowers reminded me of the sakura in Tokyo park ;)

Tinsie said...

Although I've never been to Tokyo, I think I know what you mean :-)

Gattina said...

In Belgium too the mourning colors are purple and black, I think it's in all catholic churches like that, and Belgium is only catholic. I love the peacock, what wonderful feathers !

palmtreefanatic said...

gorgeous! Everything! wow! including the peacock!:)

Tinsie said...

@ Gattina: What are the celebratory colours? In Greece all the purple and black was replaced by white and red by Easter.

@ Palmtreefanatic: The peacock was super cool :-)

ShadowFalcon said...

Looks like a lovely day. Peacocks are so pretty