Thursday, 17 April 2014


“Wise is the soul whose heart bestows the beauty of brotherly love especially - in times most cold. For the blessing of unity, evokes strong will, as the power of spirit, heals and fulfills.” - Crystal Harris

Today is is Maundy Thursday, which is so called because Christ gave his disciples a new commandment (mandatum in Latin) on this day: “Love one another as I have loved you”.  Following Christ’s example on this day, kings, bishops and other figures of great authority, humble themselves and wash the feet of as many paupers as they had years of age.

Today is also the day the church commemorates the Last Supper. In the Christian faith, the Last Supper was the last meal Jesus shared with his apostles before his death. The meal is discussed at length in all four Gospels of the Bible. The meal is considered by most scholars likely to have been a Passover seder, celebrated on the Thursday night (Holy Thursday) before Jesus was crucified on Friday (Good Friday). This year, Jewish Passover is celebrated during the same time as the Western and Eastern Easter, so Happy Easter and Best Pesach Wishes! It is rarely that one gets agreement across all the major Judaeochristian faiths, so it is definitely something to note and celebrate…

The Greek Orthodox tradition dictates that Holy Thursday is the day that Easter eggs should be dyed red. The red colour symbolises joy, resurrection, hope, rebirth, but also has an apotropaic character. The shed blood of Christ is also another potent symbol associated with the red eggs. Concerning the colour red: When Christ was on the cross and His side was pierced by the soldier who wanted to confirm his death, drops of blood fell to the earth and all the flowers that were below became red. This is how tradition explains why Springtime poppies are red.

Legend says that one day, after the Resurrection of Christ, Mary Magdalene went to Tiberius Caesar to announce the Resurrection of the Lord. Next to them at that time there was a man carrying a basket of eggs. Tiberius showed puzzlement when he heard the news and said to Mary that if what she says is true, then the eggs in the man’s basket, which were white, should become red. So it happened, and Tiberius was persuaded.

The egg also symbolises the tomb of Christ, which was hermetically closed, like the shell of the egg, but concealed life within. The egg, as an ancient symbol of the genesis of the cosmos and the birth of life, is met with in many cults both primitive and more sophisticated around the world. In both folk-tale and mythological fantasy, the egg turns up as the symbol of life. It is associated with powerful animal magic and it was believed that this power could be transmitted to humans, animals and plants, hence its use in fertility rituals. Some theorise that the red dyed Easter eggs spread in Europe, Asia and China from an ancient calendrical custom while others consider their origin in ancient Egypt.

In Greek villages and towns, the first egg dyed red was taken and put next to an icon of the Virgin Mary. This protected the household and the egg could be used in a ritual to exorcise the evil eye from afflicted people. In some places in Greece, they put it in a box as many eggs as were members of the family, and when the family went to church in the evening, the eggs were put under the altar. The eggs were retrieved after the Resurrection liturgy and each member of the family took his own egg. These eggs were blessed and after the egg was consumed, its shell was buried in the gardens and near roots of trees to encourage growth and fertility. Eggs laid by chickens (especially a black hen) on Holy Thursday were considered especially powerful and had great apotropaic properties, ridding the household of any evil.

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