Monday, May 2, 2016

Then there were none...

And just like that, Great Lent and Holy Week are over. There are no days left until Pascha. In fact, today is the second day of Pascha, but the Church hasn’t moved on....yet. This week is known as Bright Week or Renewal Week, and is reminiscent of the ancient Church practice for newly baptized members who would spend the first eight days of their new life in their white baptismal garments. Although this practice is no longer in effect, there are still some ancient customs employed today.

Liturgically speaking the Church commemorates the Feast of Saint George today as a “transferred Feast” from April 23rd to the Monday of Pascha. Any time the Feast of Saint George falls within Great Lent or Holy Week, the celebration is transferred to the Monday of Pascha.

ALSO each day this week we sing this hymn:
It is the day of the Resurrection. Let us shine brightly for the festival, and also embrace one another. Brethren, let us say even to those who hate us, "Let us forgive everything for the Resurrection." And thus let us cry aloud, "Christ is risen from the dead, by death trampling down upon death, and to those in the tombs He has granted life."
This means that today is the same day as yesterday. The entire week is like one single day of Pascha until Sunday which is called Anti-Pascha, the eighth day when the Gospel story of Saint Thomas which we began today at the AGAPE Vespers is completed.

So just like that we are now fully IN Pascha. Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen! There is no fasting this week, but that doesn’t mean we give up the spiritual lessons we learned this week. Today is a day of celebration, but as Orthodox we have learned (or are learning) how to always remain in control when we fast.

Many years to all our fans who celebrate today for the Feast of Saint George.

No comments: