St. Marys Indian Orthodox Church
1B Bank Rd, Pilning, Bristol BS35 4JG
The 25th day of the lent, which is always a Wednesday, is known as mid lent. This is one of the very few days during the great lent when the Holy Qurbana is celebrated on a weekday other than Sunday or Saturday. On this day, there is a procession around the church carrying the cross. This is followed by an exaltation of the cross (Sleeba Aaghosham) facing the four directions; East, West, North, and South. Then the cross is placed on a big decorated cross like stand covered with red cloth (Golgotha) in the middle of the church. This remains in the church until the Feast of Ascension of our Lord, which occurs 40 days after the Kyomtha (Feast of the Resurrection or otherwise known as Easter).
This exaltation of the cross has a direct link to the Gospel reading from the Holy Qurbana of Mid Lent.
John 3: 14-15 says "And as Moses lifted the serpent in the wilderness, even so, must the Son of Man be lifted, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life."
Moses lifted the bronze serpent around the middle of the Exodus, the journey of the Israelites from slavery to their promised land. He lifted the serpent so that those who are bitten by the snake might look at it and have life. Similarly, we at the middle of our Lenten journey must also lift the cross so that those who are bitten by sin can look at it and gain eternal life by the cross.
Palm Sunday is the Sunday before Easter that marks the beginning of Holy Week, the holiest of weeks, in which the most important moments of Christ's life take place, which includes the suffering and torture.
We remember the last supper Jesus Christ shared with his disciples and while doing so we are in the upper room with Jesus and the Apostles.
We commemorate the incident of our Lord visiting Sheol and proclaiming the good news to the dead.
Easter is the most important Christian festival. As we celebrate this joyous Resurrection, we greet and embrace one another in Christ, thereby demonstrating our Savior's victory over death.