Holy Tuesday - a Day of Humility

Society » CULTURE | April 11, 2023, Tuesday // 09:47
Bulgaria: Holy Tuesday - a Day of Humility @Wikimedia Commons

In the calendar of our Orthodox Church, today is Great Tuesday - a day for humility and sermon.

In church services, the last moral instructions of Jesus Christ are remembered.

In the folklore calendar, Great Tuesday is the day of ritual carrying of "silent" water by the maidens, which our ancestors used for communion and healing.

On Holy Tuesday of Holy Week, in addition to the parable of the talents, the parable of the ten virgins is read in the church. This parable speaks of five wise and five foolish virgins, and five wise and five foolish human souls are implied.

The wise had clean lamps and holy oil, and the foolish had only clean lamps. The lamps in this parable symbolize the bodies, and the oil represents mercy. In Greek, "mercy" is pronounced "eleos". This is where the word "polyeleus" came from, meaning "many-merciful".

In the folk calendar, the first three days of Holy Week - from Monday to Wednesday - are designated for cleaning the house and bathing. This ritual has a purifying nature and is believed to provide health.

On Great Tuesday, according to an old custom, girls perform a ritual carrying of "silent water". All the way from the spring to the house, they should not speak. It is believed that this way the water retains its purity and sanctity, acquires purifying power and healing ability.

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