Lent is a solemn religious observance in the Christian liturgical calendar that begins on Ash Wednesday and ends six weeks before Easter Sunday. The purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer for Easter through prayer, doing penance, mortifying the flesh, repentance of sins and denial of ego; this event is observed in the Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, Methodist, Oriental Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches. Some Anabaptist and evangelical churches observe the Lenten season; the last week of Lent is Holy Week, starting with Palm Sunday. Following the New Testament story, Jesus' crucifixion is commemorated on Good Friday, at the beginning of the next week the joyful celebration of Easter Sunday recalls the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. In Lent, many Christians commit to fasting, as well as giving up certain luxuries in order to replicate the account of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ's journey into the desert for 40 days. Many Christians add a Lenten spiritual discipline, such as reading a daily devotional or praying through a Lenten calendar, to draw themselves near to God.
The Stations of the Cross, a devotional commemoration of Christ's carrying the Cross and of his execution, are observed. Many Roman Catholic and some Protestant churches remove flowers from their altars, while crucifixes, religious statues, other elaborate religious symbols are veiled in violet fabrics in solemn observance of the event. Throughout Christendom, some adherents mark the season with the traditional abstention from the consumption of meat, most notably among Lutherans, Roman Catholics and Anglicans. Lent is traditionally described as lasting for 40 days, in commemoration of the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the desert, according to the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, before beginning his public ministry, during which he endured temptation by Satan. Depending on the Christian denomination and local custom, Lent ends either on the evening of Maundy Thursday, or at sundown on Holy Saturday, when the Easter Vigil is celebrated. Regardless, Lenten practices are properly maintained until the evening of Holy Saturday.
The English word Lent is a shortened form of the Old English word lencten, meaning "spring season", as its Dutch language cognate lente still does today. A dated term in German, Lenz, is related. According to the Oxford English Dictionary,'the shorter form seems to be a derivative of *laŋgo- long... and may have reference to the lengthening of the days as characterizing the season of spring'. The origin of the -en element is less clear: it may be a suffix, or lencten may have been a compound of *laŋgo-'long' and an otherwise little-attested word *-tino, meaning'day'. In languages spoken where Christianity was earlier established, such as Greek and Latin, the term signifies the period dating from the 40th day before Easter. In modern Greek the term is Σαρακοστή, derived from the earlier Τεσσαρακοστή, meaning "fortieth"; the corresponding word in Latin, quadragesima, is the origin of the term used in Latin-derived languages and in some others: for example, Croatian korizma, French carême, Irish carghas, Italian quaresima, Portuguese quaresma, Albanian kreshma, Romanian păresimi, Spanish cuaresma, Basque garizuma, Galician coresma, Welsh crawys.
In other languages, the name used refers to the activity associated with the season. Thus it is called "fasting period" in Czech and Norwegian, it is called "great fast" in Polish and Russian; the terms used in Filipino are Mahál na Araw. Various Christian denominations calculate the 40 days of Lent differently; the way they observe Lent differs. In the Roman Rite since 1970, Lent finishes on Holy Thursday Evening; this comprises a period of 44 days. The Lenten fast excludes Sundays and continues through Good Friday and Holy Saturday, totaling 40 days. In the Ambrosian Rite, Lent begins on the Sunday that follows what is celebrated as Ash Wednesday in the rest of the Latin Catholic Church, ends as in the Roman Rite, thus being of 40 days, counting the Sundays but not Holy Thursday; the day for beginning the Lenten fast is the first weekday in Lent. The special Ash Wednesday fast is transferred to the first Friday of the Ambrosian Lent; until this rite was revised by Saint Charles Borromeo the liturgy of the First Sunday of Lent was festive, celebrated in white vestments with chanting of the Gloria in Excelsis and Alleluia, in line with the recommendation in Matthew 6:16, "When you fast, do not look gloomy".
The period of Lent observed in the Eastern Catholic Churches corresponds to that in other churches of Eastern Christianity that have similar traditions. In Protestant and Western Orthodox Churches, the season of Lent lasts from Ash Wednesday to the evening of Holy Saturday; this calculation makes Lent last 46 days if the 6 Sundays are included, but only 40 days if they are excluded. This definition is still that of the Anglican Church, Lutheran Church, Methodist Church, Western Rite Orthodox Church. In the Byzantine Rite, i.e. the Eastern Orthodox Great Lent is the most important fasting season in the church year. The 40 days of Great Lent includes Sundays, begins on Clean Monday and are immediatel
Great Lent, or the Great Fast, is the most important fasting season in the church year in the Byzantine Rite of the Eastern Orthodox Church, Byzantine Rite Lutheran Churches and the Eastern Catholic Churches, which prepares Christians for the greatest feast of the church year, Pascha. In many ways Great Lent is similar to Lent in Western Christianity. There are some differences in the timing of Lent and how it is practiced, both liturgically in the public worship of the church and individually. One difference between Eastern Christianity and Western Christianity is the calculation of the date of Easter. Most years, the Eastern Pascha falls after the Western Easter, it may be as much as five weeks later. Like Western Lent, Great Lent itself lasts for forty days, but in contrast to the West, Sundays are included in the count. Great Lent begins on Clean Monday, seven weeks before Pascha and runs for 40 contiguous days, concluding with the Presanctified Liturgy on Friday of the Sixth Week; the next day is called the day before Palm Sunday.
Fasting continues throughout the following week, known as Passion Week or Holy Week, does not end until after the Paschal Vigil early in the morning of Pascha. The purpose of Great Lent is to prepare the faithful to not only commemorate, but to enter into the Passion and Resurrection of Jesus; the totality of the Byzantine Rite life centers around the Resurrection. Great Lent is intended to be a "workshop" where the character of the believer is spiritually uplifted and strengthened. Lent is not for the sake of Lent itself. Rather, these are means by which and for which the individual believer prepares himself to reach for and attain the calling of his Savior. Therefore, the significance of Great Lent is appraised, not only by the monks who increased the length of time of the Lent, but by the lay people themselves; the Orthodox lenten rules are the monastic rules. These rules exist not as a Pharisaic law, “burdens grievous to be borne” Luke 11:46, but as an ideal to be striven for. In the Byzantine Rite, asceticism is not for the "professional" religious, but for each layperson as well, according to their strength.
As such, Great Lent is a sacred Institute of the Church to serve the individual believer in participating as a member of the Mystical Body of Christ. It provides each person an annual opportunity for self-examination and improving the standards of faith and morals in his Christian life; the deep intent of the believer during Great Lent is encapsulated in the words of Saint Paul: "forgetting those things which are behind, reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus". Through spending more time than usual in prayer and meditation on the Holy Scripture and the Holy Traditions of the Church, the believer in Christ becomes through the grace of God more godlike; the attitude towards this period is positive, it is not so much a period of repentance, as the "West" think of it, as an attempt to recapture our true state as it was for Adam and Eve before the fall - to live pure lives. Observance of Great Lent is characterized by fasting and abstinence from certain foods, intensified private and public prayer, self-examination, personal improvement and restitution for sins committed, almsgiving.
The foods abstained from are meat, fish and dairy products and oil. According to some traditions, only olive oil is abstained from. While wine and oil are permitted on Saturdays, a few feast days, fish is permitted on Palm Sunday as well as the Annunciation when it falls before Palm Sunday, caviar is permitted on Lazarus Saturday and dairy are prohibited until the fast is broken on Easter. Besides the additional liturgical celebrations described below, Christians are expected to pay closer attention to and increase their private prayer. According to Byzantine Rite theology, when asceticism is increased, prayer must be increased also; the Church Fathers have referred to fasting without prayer as "the fast of the demons" since the demons do not eat according to their incorporeal nature, but neither do they pray. Great Lent is unique in that, the weeks do not run from Sunday to Saturday, but rather begin on Monday and end on Sunday, most weeks are named for the lesson from the Gospel which will be read at the Divine Liturgy on its concluding Sunday.
This is to illustrate that the entire season is anticipatory, leading up to the greatest Sunday of all: Pascha. During the Great Fast, a special service book is used, known as the Lenten Triodion, which contains the Lenten texts for the Daily Office and Liturgies; the Triodion begins during the Pre-Lenten period to supplement or replace portions of the regular services. This replacement begins initially a
The Last Supper is the final meal that, in the Gospel accounts, Jesus shared with his Apostles in Jerusalem before his crucifixion. The Last Supper is commemorated by Christians on Maundy Thursday; the Last Supper provides the scriptural basis for the Eucharist known as "Holy Communion" or "The Lord's Supper". The First Epistle to the Corinthians contains the earliest known mention of the Last Supper; the four canonical Gospels all state that the Last Supper took place towards the end of the week, after Jesus's triumphal entry into Jerusalem and that Jesus and his Apostles shared a meal shortly before Jesus was crucified at the end of that week. During the meal Jesus predicts his betrayal by one of the Apostles present, foretells that before the next morning, Peter will deny knowing him; the three Synoptic Gospels and the First Epistle to the Corinthians include the account of the institution of the Eucharist in which Jesus takes bread, breaks it and gives it to the Apostles, saying "This is my body given to you".
The Gospel of John does not include this episode, but tells of Jesus washing the feet of the Apostles, giving the new commandment "to love one another as I have loved you", has a detailed farewell discourse by Jesus, calling the Apostles who follow his teachings "friends and not servants", as he prepares them for his departure. Scholars have looked to the Last Supper as the source of early Christian Eucharist traditions. Others see the account of the Last Supper as derived from 1st-century eucharistic practice as described by Paul in the mid-50s; the term "Last Supper" does not appear in the New Testament, but traditionally many Christians refer so to the event. Many Protestants use the term "Lord's Supper", stating that the term "last" suggests this was one of several meals and not the meal; the term "Lord's Supper" refers both to the biblical event and the act of "Holy Communion" and Eucharistic celebration within their liturgy. Evangelical Protestants use the term "Lord's Supper", but most do not use the terms "Eucharist" or the word "Holy" with the name "Communion".
The Eastern Orthodox use the term "Mystical Supper" which refers both to the biblical event and the act of Eucharistic celebration within liturgy. The Russian Orthodox use the term "Secret Supper"; the last meal that Jesus shared with his disciples is described in all four canonical Gospels. This meal became known as the Last Supper; the Last Supper was a retelling of the events of the last meal of Jesus among the early Christian community, became a ritual which recounted that meal. Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians, written before the Gospels, includes a reference to the Last Supper but emphasizes the theological basis rather than giving a detailed description of the event or its background; the overall narrative, shared in all Gospel accounts that leads to the Last Supper is that after the Triumphal entry into Jerusalem early in the week, encounters with various people and the Jewish elders and his disciples share a meal towards the end of the week. After the meal, Jesus is betrayed, arrested and crucified.
Key events in the meal are the preparation of the disciples for the departure of Jesus, the predictions about the impending betrayal of Jesus, the foretelling of the upcoming denial of Jesus by Apostle Peter. In Matthew 26:24–25, Mark 14:18–21, Luke 22:21–23 and John 13:21–30 during the meal, Jesus predicted that one of his Apostles would betray him. Jesus is described as reiterating, despite each apostle's assertion that he would not betray Jesus, that the betrayer would be one of those who were present, saying that there would be "woe to the man who betrays the Son of man! It would be better for him if he had not been born."In Matthew 26:23–25 and John 13:26–27, Judas is identified as the traitor. In the Gospel of John, when asked about the traitor, Jesus states: It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” Dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him; the three Synoptic Gospel accounts give somewhat different versions of the order of the meal.
In chapter 26 of the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus prays thanks for the bread, divides it, hands the pieces of bread to his disciples, saying "Take, this is my body." In the meal Jesus takes a cup of wine, offers another prayer, gives it to those present, saying "Drink from it, all of you. I tell you, I will never again drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom." In chapter 22 of the Gospel of Luke, the wine is blessed and distributed before the bread, followed by the bread by a second, larger cup of wine, as well as somewhat different wordings. Additionally, according to Paul and Luke, he tells the disciples "do this in remembrance of me." This event has been regarded by Christians of most denominations as the institution of the Eucharist. There is recorded celebration of the Eucharist by the early Christian community in Jerusalem; the institution of the Eucharist is recorded in the three Synoptic Gospels and in Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians.
As noted above, Jesus's words differ in each account. In addition, Luke 22:19b–20 is a disputed text which does not appear in some of the early manuscripts of Luke; some scholars, believe that it is an interpolation, while others have argue
Easter Monday is the day after Easter Sunday and is a holiday in some countries. Easter Monday in the Western Christian liturgical calendar is the second day of Eastertide and analogously in the Byzantine Rite is the second day of Bright Week. In the Eastern Orthodox Church and Byzantine Rite Catholic Churches, this day is called "Bright Monday" or "Renewal Monday"; the services, as in the rest of Bright Week, are quite different from during the rest of the year and are similar to the services on Pascha and include an outdoor procession after the Divine Liturgy. When the calendar date of the feast day of a major saint, e.g. St. George or the patron saint of a church or one's name day, falls during Holy Week or on Easter Sunday, the saint's day is celebrated on Easter Monday. Easter Monday is an official holiday in the following countries. Nations on this list indicated as "Eastern Christian" observe Easter according to the Julian Calendar reckoning used in Eastern Christianity, which differs most years from the Gregorian Calendar reckoning used in Western Christianity.
The post-Easter festivities involved a week of secular celebration, but in many places this was reduced to one day in the 19th century. Events include egg rolling competitions and, in predominantly Roman Catholic countries, dousing other people with water which traditionally had been blessed with holy water the day before at Easter Sunday Mass and carried home to bless the house and food. In Australia, Easter Monday is a public holiday. People enjoy outdoor sporting events, such as the Oakbank Easter Racing Carnival in South Australia, Australian Three Peaks Race in Tasmania and the Stawell Gift in Victoria. In Austria and Southern Germany, there is the traditional "Emmausgang", commemorating the walk of the disciples to Emmaus, to which Jesus followed them without being recognized. In Egypt, the ancient festival of Sham El Nessim is celebrated on the Coptic Easter Monday, though the festival dates back to Pharonic times, it is an Egyptian national holiday. Traditional activities include painting eggs, taking meals outdoors, eating feseekh.
In the Republic of Ireland it is a day of remembrance for the men and women who died in the Easter Rising which began on Easter Monday 1916. Until 1966, there was a parade of veterans, past the headquarters of the Irish Republican Army at the General Post Office on O'Connell Street, a reading of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic. Śmigus-dyngus is the name for Easter Monday in the diaspora. In the Czech Republic it is called velikonoční pondělí. In Slovakia veľkonočný pondelok called Šibačka/Polievačka or Oblievačka. In Hungary húsvéthétfő. All countries practice a unique custom on this day. In Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic traditionally, early in the morning boys awake girls by pouring a bucket of water on their head and striking them about the legs with long thin twigs or switches made from willow, birch or decorated tree branches. Another related custom, unique to Poland, is that of sprinkling bowls of ashes on people or houses, celebrated a few weeks earlier at the "półpoście".
This custom is forgotten, but still practiced in the area around the borders of Mazuria and Masovia. In Germany, people hold Easter egg races. For Roman Catholics, Easter Monday is a Holy Day of Obligation in Germany. In the United States, Easter Monday is not a federal holiday, is not observed. So, the day remains informally observed in some areas such as the state of North Dakota, some cities in New York and Indiana. Easter Monday was a public holiday in North Carolina from 1935 to 1987. Texas and Maryland schools have two holidays on Good Friday and Easter Monday. In some states and districts, public schools and universities are closed on Easter Monday part of spring break. Traditionally Polish areas of the country such as Chicago, more Cleveland, observe Easter Monday as Dyngus Day. Dyngus Day celebrations are popular in Buffalo, New York. Another important custom is the White House Easter egg roll; the world's largest organized Dyngus Day celebration occurs in New York. In Buffalo's eastern suburbs and the city's Historic Polonia District, Dyngus Day is celebrated with a high level of enthusiasm.
Although Dyngus Day was celebrated in traditional Polish neighborhoods of Buffalo dating back to the 1870s, modern Dyngus Day in Buffalo had its start with the Chopin Singing Society. Judge Ann T. Mikoll and her late husband Theodore V. Mikoll held the first party at the Society's clubrooms in the Buffalo Central Terminal; the Society left the East Side in the 1980s and moved to new clubrooms in nearby Cheektowaga, where the festival attracted a new generation of revelers. In recent years, the focus of Buffalo's Dyngus Day celebration has returned to the Historic Polonia District in the form of large parties at the Buffalo Central Terminal, St. Stanislaus - Bishop & Martyr Church, the Adam Mickiewicz Library and Dramatic Circle, at many family-owned Polish taverns; the World's First Dingus Day Parade, inaugurated in 2006, makes its way through the Polonia District from the Broadway Market to Buffalo Central Terminal. In 2008, the parade attracted more than 25,000 people. In 2012, it was reported
Bright Week, Pascha Week or Renewal Week is the name used by the Eastern Orthodox and Byzantine Rite Catholic Churches for the period of seven days beginning on Easter and continuing up to the following Sunday, known as Thomas Sunday. Latin Rite and other Christian groups such as Anglicans refer to this period as Easter Week, not to be confused with the Octave of Easter, which includes the following Sunday; the entire week following Easter is to be set aside by Orthodox Christians for the celebration of the Resurrection. According to the 66th canon of the Council in Trullo: "from the holy day of the Resurrection of Christ our God until New Sunday for a whole week the faithful in the holy churches should continually be repeating psalms and spiritual songs and celebrating Christ, attending to the reading of the Divine Scriptures and delighting in the Holy Mysteries. For in this way shall we be exalted with Christ. For this reason on the aforesaid days that by no means there be any horse races or any other public spectacle".
In Imperial Russia taverns were closed during Bright Week, no alcoholic beverages were sold. The entire week is considered to be one continuous day; the name of each day of the week is called "Bright" and the week's services are unique, varying from those during the remainder of the year. The services are sung, the Paschal hymns are included with the stichera taken from the Sunday Resurrection propers in the Octoechos, rotating through the various tones. Tone 1 is used Holy Saturday and at Paschal matins on Sunday, tone 2 Sunday night and Monday, etc. skipping the least festive heavy tone and ending with the plagial 4th on Friday night and Saturday. During all of Bright Week the Holy Doors on the Iconostasis are kept open—the only time of the year when this occurs; the open doors represent the stone rolled away from the Tomb of Christ, the Epitaphios, representing the burial clothes, is visible through them on the Holy Table. The doors are closed before the Ninth Hour on the eve of Thomas Sunday.
However, the Afterfeast of Pascha will continue until the eve of the Ascension. During Bright Week the Paschal Verses are sung responsorially with the Paschal troparion at the beginning of the Divine Liturgy, in place of Psalm 103 at the beginning of vespers and in place of the Six Psalms at the beginning of matins. Everything in the services is sung joyfully rather than read. Thus, for example, while censing the church before the Divine Liturgy, the deacon recites a Paschal hymm in place of Psalm 50; the entire Psalter is read during the course of a week, but during Bright Week no psalms at all are read. Each of the Little Hours is replaced by a special service known as the Paschal Hours. In Bright Week ordinary fasting is suspended, the entire week is fast-free, with special Paschal foods eaten every day as well as red Easter eggs blessed during the Paschal Vigil. At the end of the Divine Liturgy on Bright Monday through Bright Saturday there is an outdoor procession three times around the church, at which the Icon of the Resurrection and the Artos are carried.
On the last circuit, there is a reading from the Gospel and the priest sprinkles the faithful with holy water. The Artos is a loaf of leavened bread impressed before baking with a seal of an icon of the Resurrection, blessed during the Paschal Vigil; this seal symbolizes the physical presence of the Resurrected Christ among the Apostles. This Artos is kept in the church during Bright Week, may be placed either in the nave next to the Icon of the Resurrection, in front of the Icon of Christ on the Iconostasis, or in front of the Holy Doors. Throughout the week, whenever anyone enters the church, he or she kisses the Artos, symbolically greeting the resurrected Christ. On Bright Friday, a service in honor of the Theotokos as the "Life-giving Spring" is included in the Paschal service; this service is not found in the Typicon, but was composed in the fourteenth century by Nikita Kallistos Xanthopoulos, in commemoration of the renewal, i.e. the consecration of the temple known as the Life-giving Spring.
On Bright Saturday, after the Divine Liturgy, the priest says a prayer over the Artos and it is broken up and distributed to the faithful. Bright Week begins the liturgical season known as the Pentecostarion, the period of fifty days which begins on Pascha and continues to Pentecost and its Afterfeast; the date of Pascha determines liturgical cycles as well as the Epistle and Gospel readings for the subsequent year. Funeral services held during Bright Week have a special rite, consisting of joyous Paschal hymns with only the litanies remaining funereal. Parakleses during Pascha are served according to a special rite, with the canon of Pascha. Holy Pascha: The Resurrection of Our Lord Orthodox icon and synaxarion Photos of Paschal Matins and Liturgy Photos of Bright Friday Outdoor Procession and Blessing of Water Bright Monday Bright Tuesday Bright Wednesday Bright Thursday Bright Friday Bright Saturday Paschal Week, from Handbook for Church Servers by S. V. Bulgakov
Eastertide or Paschaltide is a festal season in the liturgical year of Christianity that focuses on celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. It begins on Easter Sunday, which initiates Easter Week in Western Christianity, Bright Week in Eastern Christianity. There are several Eastertide customs across the Christian world, including sunrise services, exclaiming the Paschal greeting, clipping the church, decorating Easter eggs, a symbol of the empty tomb; the Easter lily, a symbol of the resurrection, traditionally decorates the chancel area of churches throughout Eastertide. Other Eastertide customs include egg hunting, eating special Easter foods and watching Easter parades. Eastertide is the period of fifty days from Easter Sunday to Pentecost Sunday, it is celebrated as a single joyful feast, indeed as the "great Lord's Day". Each Sunday of the season is treated as a Sunday of Easter, after the Sunday of the Resurrection, they are named Second Sunday of Easter, Third Sunday of Easter, etc. up to the Seventh Sunday of Easter, while the whole fifty-day period concludes with Pentecost Sunday.
Easter Sunday and Pentecost correspond to pre-existing Jewish feasts: The first day of Pesach and the holiday of Shavu'ot. In the Jewish tradition, the 49 days between these holidays are known as Counting of the Omer ; the first eight days are celebrated as solemnities of the Lord. Since 2000 the Second Sunday of Easter is called Divine Mercy Sunday; the name "Low Sunday" for this Sunday, once common in English, is now used. The solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord is celebrated on the fortieth day of Eastertide, except in countries where it is not a Holy Day of Obligation. In such countries it is celebrated on the following Sunday; the nine days from that feast until the Saturday before Pentecost are days of preparation for the Holy Spirit the Paraclete, which inspired the form of prayer called a novena. Before the 1969 revision of the calendar, the Sundays were called First Sunday after Easter, Second Sunday after Easter, etc; the Sunday preceding the feast of the Ascension of the Lord was sometimes, though not called Rogation Sunday, when the Ascension had an octave, the following Sunday was called Sunday within the Octave of the Ascension, but when this octave was abolished in 1955, it was called Sunday after the Ascension.
Pentecost was followed by an octave. When the Anglican and Lutheran churches implemented their own calendar and lectionary reforms in 1976, they adopted the same shortened definition of the Easter season as the Roman Catholic Church had promulgated six years earlier. In the Church of England, the Easter season begins with the Easter Vigil and ends after Evening Prayer on the Day of Pentecost; some Anglican provinces continue to label the Sundays between Easter and the Ascension "Sundays After Easter" rather than "Sundays of Easter". Paschal Tide is a season of joy; the colour for the Office de tempore is white. On Sundays the "Asperges" is replaced by the "Vidi Aquam" which recalls the solemn baptism of Easter eve. There is no feast day from Easter until Ascension; the Armenians during this period do away with the abstinence on Fridays. Prayers are said standing, not kneeling. Instead of the "Angelus" the "Regina Caeli" is recited. From Easter to Ascension many churches, about the tenth century, said only one Nocturn at Matins.
Pope Gregory VII limited this privilege of Pentecost. Some dioceses in Germany however, retained it far into the nineteenth century for 40 days after Easter. In every Nocturn the three psalms are said under one antiphon; the Alleluia appears as an independent antiphon. Instead of the "suffragia sanctorum" in the semidouble and ferial Offices, a commemoration of the Holy Cross is used; the iambic hymns have a special Easter doxology. The feasts of the holy Apostles and martyrs have their own commune from Easter to Pentecost. At Mass the Alleluia is added to the Introit and Communion. Paschal Tide was the period during which every member of the faithful who has attained the year of discretion was bound by the positive law of the Church to receive Holy Communion. During the early Middle Ages from the time of the Synod of Agde, it was customary to receive Holy Communion at least three times a year—Christmas and Pentecost. A positive precept was confirmed by the Council of Trent. According to these decrees the faithful of either sex, after coming to the age of discretion, must receive at least at Easter the Sacrament of the Eucharist.
Otherwise during life they are to be prevented from entering the church and when dead are to be denied Christian burial. The paschal precept is to be fulfilled in one's parish church. Although the precept of the Fourth Lateran to confess to the parish priest fell into disuse and permission was given to confess anywhere, the precept of
Dormition of the Mother of God
The Dormition of the Mother of God, Albanian: Fjetja e Shën Marisë, is a Great Feast of the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches which commemorates the "falling asleep" or death of Mary the Theotokos, her bodily resurrection before being taken up into heaven. It is celebrated on 15 August as the Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God; the Armenian Apostolic Church celebrates the Dormition not on a fixed date, but on the Sunday nearest 15 August. The death or Dormition of Mary is not recorded in the Christian canonical scriptures. Hippolytus of Thebes, a 7th- or 8th-century author, claims in his preserved chronology to the New Testament that Mary lived for 11 years after the death of Jesus, dying in AD 41; the term Dormition expresses the belief that the Virgin died without suffering, in a state of spiritual peace. This belief does not rest on any scriptural basis, but is affirmed by Orthodox Christian Holy Tradition, it is testified to in some old Apocryphal writings, but neither the Orthodox Church nor other Christians regard these as possessing scriptural authority.
The Feast of the Dormition is preceded by a two-week fast, referred to as the Dormition Fast. From August 1 to August 14 Orthodox and Eastern Catholics fast from red meat, meat products, dairy products, fish and wine; the Dormition Fast is a stricter fast than either the Nativity Fast or the Apostles' Fast, with only wine and oil allowed on weekends. As with the other Fasts of the Church year, there is a Great Feast. In some places, the services on weekdays during the Fast are similar to the services during Great Lent. Many churches and monasteries in the Russian tradition perform the lenten services on at least the first day of the Dormition Fast. In the Greek tradition, during the Fast either the Great Paraklesis or the Small Paraklesis is celebrated every evening except Saturday evening and the Eves of the Transfiguration and the Dormition; the first day of the Dormition Fast is a feast day called the Procession of the Cross, on which day it is customary to have an outdoor procession and perform the Lesser Blessing of Water.
In Eastern Orthodoxy it is the day of the Holy Seven Maccabees, Martyrs Abimus, Gurias, Eusebonus and Marcellus, their mother Solomonia, their teacher Eleazar. Therefore, the day is sometimes referred to as "Makovei", it is considered the First of the three "Feasts of the Saviour" in August, the Feast to the All-Merciful Saviour and the Most Holy Mother of God. In Orthodoxy and Catholicism, in the language of the scripture, death is called a "sleeping" or "falling asleep". A prominent example of this is the name of this feast; the Dormition tradition is associated with various places, most notably with Jerusalem, which contains Mary's Tomb and the Basilica of the Dormition, Ephesus, which contains the House of the Virgin Mary, with Constantinople where the Cincture of the Theotokos was enshrined from the 5th through 14th centuries. The first four Christian centuries are silent regarding the end of the Virgin Mary's life, though it is asserted, without surviving documentation, that the feast of the Dormition was being observed in Jerusalem shortly after the Council of Ephesus.
Up until the 5th century Church Fathers do not mention the death of the Virgin, before the 4th-5th century Dormition was not celebrated among the Christians as a holy day. For example, Epiphanius of Salamis, a Jew by birth, born in Phoenicia, converted to Christianity in adulthood and lived as a monk for over 20 years in Palestine from 335–340 to 362, writes in "Panarion" in "Contra antidicomarianitas" about the death of the Virgin Mary the following: If any think am mistaken, let them search through the scriptures any neither find Mary's death, nor whether or not she died, nor whether or not she was buried—even though John travelled throughout Asia, and yet, nowhere does. Scripture kept silence because of the overwhelming wonder, not to throw men's minds into consternation. For I dare not say—though I have my suspicions, I keep silent. Just as her death is not to be found, so I may have found some traces of the holy and blessed Virgin.... The holy virgin may have died and been buried—her falling asleep was with honour, her death in purity, her crown in virginity.
Or she may have been put to death—as the scripture says,'And a sword shall pierce through her soul'—her fame is among the martyrs and her holy body, by which light rose on the world, amid blessings. Or she may have remained alive. No one knows her end, but we must not honour the saints to excess. It is time for the error of those. Christians in the late 4th century had different opinions regarding Mary's death. For this reason, for example, wrote: Neither the letter of Scripture nor Tradition does not teach us that Mary had left this life as a con