With about a week to go before Easter and if you are anywhere near any of the numerous churches in Rome, you could see that they are bustling with activity. The one near my home for example, had a sort of group singing going on.
I’m not sure if you could see it in the picture below (thanks to the tree blocking my way so I couldn’t take a better shot … haha) but all the people below are carrying an olive branch.
These olive branches are blessed by the priest and will be brought home, I suppose for bringing blessings. Cart was telling me the story of the week before Jesus died, he’d be riding a donkey and there was a crowd of people waving palm leaves.
Since palm trees didn’t used to be readily available, it has since been exchanged with olive branches instead, as Italy has an abundance of olive trees.
Cart and I were having a walk around the Santi Pietro e Paolo yesterday. We saw tables with loads of olive branches and there was a monk next to it, that was handing them out to visitors.
I’m not Catholic, so I didn’t feel comfortable at taking one directly from the monk.
Interestingly enough, a friend gave me this earlier :
And I looked at her and gasped and in mock horror, I jokingly asked ”Why are you giving me this? This is haram!”
She : HARAM?!?!?!
You should have seen her look of shock and surprise and flabbergast. It was so funny to see.
In the end, I did take the package home. It didn’t any symbolism to me so I don’t see it wrong to carry it. I’m not sure what to do with it though.