Orthodox church holidays are significant in the Orthodox faith. They are celebrated on various dates in the calendar and are celebrated to celebrate the birth of Christ. In this article, we will look at Pascha, the Forefeast of the Epiphany, the Exaltation of the Cross and the Dormition of the Most Holy Lady of Our Theotokos. We will also discuss the origin of these holidays, the significance of each one, and the customs surrounding them.
Table of Contents
The date of Pascha is not the same in Eastern and Western churches. The Western Church adopted the Gregorian calendar in 1582, which required adjustments to its calculations. However, the Orthodox Church bases its calculations on the Julian Calendar, which was in use during the First Ecumenical Council. The difference is thirteen days, so the Eastern Church will never observe the holiday on the same day as the Western Church. So, observing Pascha on the same day as Easter would be a mistake.
The date of Pascha has varied throughout the centuries, with some Christian denominations celebrating it on the same day as the Jewish Passover festival. The original Passover was celebrated on the first Sunday after the full moon, which is the same day when we celebrate Easter. In this way, the dates of Pascha have changed, but the date of the holiday has not. Therefore, the first Sunday after Pascha is celebrated in the Orthodox Church.
Forefeast of the Epiphany
The feast of the Forefeast of the Epiphany was originally celebrated in the Greek-speaking eastern half of the Roman Empire. According to the writer Clement of Alexandria, the followers of Basilides observe a feast on the day of Jesus’ baptism by immersing a cross in water three times. The date is a common source, but many believe it was an Egyptian holiday. The Egyptian dates are January 6 and 10 respectively.
The Forefeast of the Epiphany is the most important day in the Catholic calendar, and the oldest celebration of the Nativity of Christ began more than 2,000 years ago. The story of the Magi originated in Rome and was later translated to the Eastern Orthodox Church. According to tradition, the Magi visited Bethlehem and Jerusalem on January 6 and filled the children’s socks with candy. The tradition of giving out these gifts is still observed to this day, but is largely outdated in the Eastern Orthodox Church.
Exaltation of the Cross
The Orthodox Church celebrates the Exaltation of the Cross on three major church holidays: Palm Sunday, Pentecost, and Christmas. The Feast of the Universal Exaltation of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross commemorates Christ’s death and resurrection. It marks the rededication of Christ’s crucified body to the Father, and it is a day of fasting and repentance in the Church today. The Orthodox Church’s services often involve the lifting and lowering of a cross that represents the Universal Exaltation of the Cross.
The celebration of the Exaltation of the Cross is one of the most important feasts in the Christian liturgical calendar. It commemorates the cross used by Jesus in the crucifixion and is one of the Five Tabernacle Feasts. It is preceded by a day of fasting, as is the case with Assumption and Transfiguration. In addition to fasting, the church celebrates the Resurrection of the Body of Christ by blessing the sick with the bread of life.
Dormition of the Most Holy Lady of Our Theotokos
The Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos is one of the twelve Orthodox church holidays. It commemorates the death, burial, and resurrection of the Mother of God, who was resurrected and translated into heaven. Mary’s death and resurrection was a sign and a guarantee of all mankind’s destiny, particularly those who live in “low estate.” However, those who follow the Word of God and glorify the Lord will also be blessed.
The All-Pure Virgin died in a wondrous repose. In her death, God gave her things above nature and preserved her virginity. The throne of God is the throne of grace, and her soul is now entrusted to the Throne of God. In her glorious resurrection, she joined her Son in heaven and received eternal life.