Easter or Easter Sunday is the main event in the Church calendar, the oldest and most important Christian holiday.
In 2017, Easter falls on April 16. Holiday date in each particular year is calculated on a lunar-solar calendar, making it a challenge.
After Saturday night, on the third day after his suffering and death, the Lord Jesus Christ and the power of His divinity rose from the dead. His human body was transformed, and he emerged from the tomb, not otvali stone, without violating canadianboy print, and invisible to the guards.
From that moment the soldiers, not knowing that guarded the empty tomb.
When from the heavens descended an angel, he rolled away the stone from the door of the sepulchre and sat upon it. The soldiers who stood guard at the tomb, frozen in horror, and then waking up with fear, fled.
This day that ended the Sabbath rest, at dawn, Mary Magdalene, Mary the brother of James, Joanna, Salome and other women by taking cooked fragrant myrh, went to the tomb of Jesus Christ to anoint his body, as they do not have time to do the burial.
Now these women the Church calls the Holy myrrh-bearing women.
But, going on the road, they still didn’t know what to the sepulchre of Christ the oversight of the guardian and the cave entrance sealed. Mary Magdalene, who first came to the tomb and see that it is open and no body ran to Peter and John.
Later, when all were near the tomb and saw the angel, and he reassured them and said, “fear Not, for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He’s not here. He is risen, as he said being with you. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead.”
When women who could not believe his eyes, stood near the grave, and again heard the words of the angel.
“Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here: he is risen; remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, saying the Son of man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again”.
In the Christian Church the name “Easter” has a special meaning and came to refer to prehozhdenie from death to life, from earth to heaven that is expressed in the sacred canticles: “Easter, the Pascha of the Lord! From death unto life and from earth to heaven Christ our God brought us Hello, victorious singing”.
The formation of the holiday
Pascha — the celebration of celebrations. This is evidenced, in particular, in his speech on the feast of St. Epiphanius: “the feast of the Passover solemn of all holidays: it is the celebration of renewal and salvation. This holiday is the head and the top of all the holidays…” the Church in sacred chants calls Easter “the great door of the Paradise we overseasa, Holy Week, Easter Sunday”, calls for its glorification of heaven and earth, visible and invisible world, because “Christ vosta, joy eternal.”
The word “Easter” originates from the name of the old Testament feast of the Passover, which, in turn, was so named from the Hebrew word “pasach” (“passes”) – in memory of the ancient event of the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt and from slavery in Egypt, when the angel, smote the Egyptian firstborn, the sight of the blood of the Paschal lamb on the doors of Jewish homes passed.
The feast of the Passover established in the Apostolic Church and was celebrated in those days. The ancient Church referred to Easter week two: before the day of the resurrection of Christ and follow him. To denote the other part of the holiday was used special names: Easter Godmother, or Easter of Suffering, and Easter Sunday, or Easter Sunday. After the Council of Nicaea (325), these names become obsolete and introduces new names — Holy week and Bright week, and the day of Resurrection called Easter.
In the first centuries of Christianity Easter was celebrated everywhere at the same time. In the East, in the Churches of Asia minor, it was celebrated in the 14th day of Nisan (March), no matter what day of the week it was number. And the Western Church, considering it indecent to celebrate Easter with the Jews, made it on the first Sunday after the spring full moon. The attempt to establish harmony between the churches on this issue was made under St. Polycarp, Bishop Merscom, in the middle of the II century, but without success. Two different custom of celebration of the resurrection of Christ existed before the First Ecumenical Council (325), which was issued to celebrate Easter (according to the rules of the Church of Alexandria) is generally the first Sunday after the Paschal full moon between 22 March and 25 April, to the Christian Easter is always celebrated after the Jewish.
Traditions and symbols of Easter
The symbols of Easter is everything that expresses the update (Easter streams), light (Easter fire), life (Easter cakes, eggs and rabbits).
In Easter, how to the most important feast of the Church year, is a particularly solemn service. It was formed in the first centuries of Christianity as a baptismal. Most of the catechumens after the preparation of lent was baptized on this special day.
In the Church from ancient times has become the tradition of making Easter service at night.
Since Easter night and the subsequent forty days made “triple kiss”. This means that when meeting the standard greeting is replaced by the words: “Christ is risen!” — “Truly he is risen!”, while triple kissing.
It plays an important role in worship and symbolizes the “Light that lighteth all the Nations” after the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
If successful, the arrival from Jerusalem of the Holy fire and the priests solemnly carry it to the temples of the city. Christians then light from it the candles. After the service, wishing to carry away a lamp of fire home, where I try to maintain it throughout the year.
The Passover meal
It occurs during the breaking of the fast after lent. But before that, during the great Saturday and after Easter service in churches consecrate the Easter cakes, curd Easter and Easter eggs prepared for the festive table.
They are in the Christian tradition indicates the Holy Sepulchre: the egg, although the outside looks dead, inside contains a new life that will come out of it, and so the egg serves as a “symbol of the coffin and the origin of life in the very depths of him.”
It is noteworthy that in the Orthodox tradition the custom of giving eggs is connected with the legend about the egg, donated by Mary Magdalene to the Emperor Tiberius.
According to the statement of Demetrius of Rostov, the Holy equal to the apostles Mary Magdalene found the opportunity to go to the Emperor and gave him the egg, painted red, with the words: “Christ is risen!” Choice of eggs as a gift, according to St. Demetrius, was caused by the poverty of Mary, which, however, did not want to be empty handed, the color of the eggs was intended to attract the attention of the Emperor.
Although eggs painted in different colors, that red is traditional: it represents the blood of the crucified Christ.
A special dish of cottage cheese, which is traditionally prepared only once a year — during the Easter holiday.
The original shape of Easter — truncated pyramid, symbolizing the Holy Sepulchre. Traditionally for the preparation of the Passover used special collapsible wooden form — a form that was made of boards, on the inner side of which are cut the letters “XB”, signifying the greeting “Christ is Risen!”.
In addition, they also depicted the cross, spears, canes, sprouted grain, shoots and flowers, which symbolize the suffering and resurrection of Jesus Christ
These pictures and the words then are imprinted on ready the Passover.
However, in the modern world Easter make different shapes, sizes and with different decorations.