Plant-Lore

Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

Christmas Eve Vespers at St Sava’s

Posted on by royvickery |

Christmas Eve Vespers were celebrated at St Sava’s Serbian Orthodox Church, in Notting Hill, London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, on Thursday 6 January 2022, starting at 7 p.m.  The church was packed.  A yule, a dead but leafy oak branch was placed near the entrance; straw was strewn on the floor, and glasses containing young wheat plants were placed beside icons (see posting of 8 January 2017 for details).

At the conclusion of the service people were given small bundles of straw and oak twigs (Turkey oak, Quercus cerris), to take home and burn, apparently ‘for luck’.

Comment from Jane Lawson:  My neighbour Bishop Seraphim Newman-Norman [Patriarch of Glastonbury and Head of the British Orthodox Church] says that the oak in the bundles symbolises sacredness, and the straw the straw of the Bethlehem stable.

Photograph of yule taken on Christmas Day, 7 January 2022, © Carlos Bruzon.

Updated 8 January 2022.

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