Easter in Italy

The day after Carnival is called “Ash Wednesday” (mercoledì delle Ceneri). Ash Wednesday is a day of penitence. Christians use ash as a symbol of being sorry for things they’ve been wrong. In this day we use to go to the church and the priest puts on our forehead the sign of cross. He remembers us that God created the first man from ash and one day we’ll become ash again so we must be generous and humble in this life.
Lent began on Thursday. Quaresima is a period of forty days before Easter. Why 40?
The meaning of that is in the Holy Bible: Noah’s Flood lasted 40 days, Israelites went through the desert in 40 years, Jesus Christ spent 40 days in the desert without food being tempted by the devil. Jesus used this time for fasting and praying.

During Quaresima people pray and fast. Some people give up their favourite food. On Fridays ( the day when Jesus died) people don’t eat meat. In the churches or in the street, people remember the passion of Our Lord.
16th March 2008- Palm Sunday
People remember the entrance of Jesus Christ in Gerusalemme. This day is the occasion for doing peace. We exchange branches of olives. Why olives?
Because, after Noah’s Flood, a dove brought a branch of olive in his beak as a sign of peace between God and the entire human race.

20th March 2008 – Holy Thursday

It commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus with the Apostles. During the meal Jesus took some bread and wine and shared them with his disciples. Christians continue to share bread and wine as part of their worship in church.
The last supper was a Passover meal – the meal which Jewish people share together to celebrate the time when God delivered Moses and the people from slavery. This night Jesus was betrayed by Giuda. During the last supper Jesus washed his disciples’ feet.
Caena Domini on Thursday

In St. Peter’s Cathedral in Rome, the Pope washes the feet of 12 people, ( 12 were Jesus Apostles) and then gives some bread to people in the town. In each church the priests do the same.

21st March – Holy Friday

In this day Christians remember the day when Jesus was crucified on a cross.
It’s the day of a long fast that is broken at midnight on Sunday Easter.
Christians take part in a procession of witness, carrying a cross through the streets and then into church.

22 March – Holy Saturday

On Saturday we remember the pain of the Holy Mother. It’s a day of silence.

23rd March – Easter Day

Jesus is alive again. He has brought to men a good message: there is a hope for everyone, the resurrection. We are not alone, He has gone back to Heaven to prepare a place for all men. Today is a day of joy.

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