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News and Events - April 2011

 
NEWS AND EVENTS - Thursday, April 28, 2011

BRIGHT WEEK


Bright week or Resurrection or Paschal week is considered to be one day of the Resurrection – the entire week is treated as one continuous day. That is why every day the church service is the same as on Pascha. There is a small Entrance each day at Vespers because of the Great Prokimenon. Friday of this week is dedicated to the Most Holy Theotokos, the Feast of the Life-giving Font. The Resurrection, the Christian Pascha is the greatest of Christian feasts, a day which is the Church celebrates as Christ's final victory over death. The Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is the foundation of Christianity: “And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty” (1 Cor. 15:14), that is, the entire faith and preaching of Christ's disciples, and of each Christian afterward, springs forth from this most important of Christ's deeds. Christian hope in our own resurrection is based on the truth that Christ resurrected: “for as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive” (1 Cor. 15:22).

Therefore, the Resurrection is the climax of the Christian Church year, the Feast of all feasts, for on that great day all the anticipation and the desire of all the righteous and prophets from Adam until St. John the Baptist was fulfilled. The Resurrection is also called Pascha, modeled after the Old Testament feast which the Jews celebrated in the Spring in memory of the wondrous liberation from Egyptian slavery. In that sense, the Resurrection is the Christian Pascha which signifies the crossing with Christ from death to life, from earth to eternal Heavenly life. Since Christ's Resurrection was on a Sunday Christians will also celebrate their victory over death on that day. That day is the New Testament feast of the Resurrection and on that day the Church sings: “This is the day which the Lord has made let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

The Resurrection is a moveable feast that is always celebrated on a Sunday and can fall in an interval of 35 days, from April 4 – May 8th. The entire week after the Resurrection is called Bright Week, while the church hymns which are sung then are filled with joy and celebration.

Bright Week ends with the Sunday of Antipascha (Small Pascha). During this week the Royal Doors are opened the entire time until Bright Saturday. Canon 66 of the Sixth Ecumenical Council states that from Pascha until the Sunday of St. Thomas, there is celebration in honor of the Resurrection of Christ. This week is always fast free, there is no fast neither on Wednesday nor Friday. The liturgical period which last fifty days begins with Bright Week – from Pascha to Pentecost.  




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