Sunday, March 28, 2010

Palm Sunday

Today is Palm Sunday, and we're entering the Holy Week.  In Norwegian, the correct name of this week is Den Stille Uke (The Silent Week), but most people just call it Påskeuka (Easter Week), because all school kids started their Easter break this weekend, and many adults also take time off from work all this week.  In Norway  both Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Monday are public holidays, so it makes for a good break without taking that many days off work.  Norwegians usually escape to their mountain cabins, but we'll be staying home, just relaxing, maybe taking day trips or gong out for dinner.  We don't have that many plans, and I think it's good for everybody.  
Writing this, I just came home from the old wooden church downtown, where I attended a concert, a beautiful Easter  a capella concert given by a local choir, (Vestoppland Kammerkor), with works by Mahler, Mendehlson, Grieg and others.  It was a strong, emotional and spiritual experience, in a beautiful church filled with candles, and I left feeling that the mood was set for the week to come.

The painting is a mural by Giotto, made in 1304-06 on the walls of the Scovegni chapel in Padua, Italy.  It shows Christ approaching Jerusalem, riding on a donkey, while people greet him as a king, waving palm leaves and laying down their cloaks on the ground in front of him.  The scripture tells us they were shouting "Hosanna!", and many of them were probably the very same who, a few days later, shouted "Crucify!"...

1 comment:

  1. In Australia we don't get Maundy Thursday off as a public holiday. I used to go camping a lot on this 4 day weekend.


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