"Having fulfilled Forty Days... we ask to see the Holy Week of Thy Passion." With these words sung at Vespers of Friday, Lent comes to its end and we enter into the annual commemoration of Christ's suffering, death and Resurrection. It begins on the Saturday of Lazarus. The double feast of Lazarus' resurrection and the Entrance of the Lord to Jerusalem (Palm Sunday) is described in liturgical texts as the "beginning of the Cross" and is to be understood therefore, within the context of the Holy Week. The common Troparion of these days explicitly affirms that by raising Lazarus from the dead, Christ confirmed the truth of general resurrection. It is highly significant that we are led into the darkness of the Cross by one of the twelve major feasts of the Church. Light and joy shine not only at the end of Holy Week but also at its beginning; they illumine darkness itself, reveal its ultimate meaning.
When the most holy Virgin had lived and served in the Temple at Jerusalem for eleven years, and was by then fourteen years old when, that is, she was entering on her fifteenth year - the priests informed her that, according to the Law, she could no longer remain in the Temple but must be betrothed and marry. But, to the great surprise of all the priests, the most holy Virgin replied that she had dedicated herself to God and wished to a maiden remain till death and enter into wedlock with no-one.
This year (2017) we the Orthodox Christians celebrate Christ`s Resurrection (Easter) on the same date as all the other Nonorthodox Christians namely on 16th. April . Having this in mind we will outline the basic principles as to how this date is derived for a particular year and why it happens that the orthodox and nonorthodox celebrate mostly on different dates and it is only some years the dates coincide.
Easter is the most important Christian feast. It is a feast which is always celebrated on the same day (Sunday) but the actual date varies. Originally the Christians in Judea and converts from Judaism did celebrate Easter with the Jewish feast of Passover on 14th. day of the Jewish month Nissan which ever day of the week this feast happens to be while the res Christians from Roman and Greek background celebrated the feast of Easter on the first Sunday after that date. The celebration of Passover lasts 7 days and the Jews celebrate it in memory of exodus from the slavery in Egypt and the crossing of the Red Sea. Easter is referred to in in liturgical songs of the Orthodox Church as new Pasha because Christs Resurrection represents the passing from death into life. That is why Greeks and other orthodox use the word Pasha instead of Easter.
In order for all Christians to celebrate Christ`s Resurrection on the same day at the First council which took place in Nicaea in the year 325 it was decided that all Christians will celebrate the Resurrection of Christ on the same day and that is to be on the first Sunday after the full moon after the spring equinox and after the Jewish Passover.
DIOCESE OF GREAT BRITAIN AND SCANDINAVIA
MEETING OF THE CLERGY AND PRESIDENTS OF THE CHURCH PARISHES OF THE EPISCOPAL DEANERY FOR GREAT BRITAIN AND IRELAND PRESIDED BY HIS GRACE DOSITEJ, BISHOP OF GREAT BRITAIN AND SCANDINAVIA