Date varies. February 20-26, 2012
There’s no Mardi Gras or Carnival in Russia. Lent doesn’t descend on Orthodox Christians in one big swoop as in Catholicism, but in a series of events with increasingly strict regulations.
Triodion begins a full month before Lent.
Two weeks later, Meatfare Sunday marks the last day Orthodox Christians can eat meat until after Easter, aka Pascha.
The Sunday after Meatfare is Cheesefare Sunday, the last day for eating dairy products.
In Catholic …Read more
“So this Rabbi and a tax collector walk into a temple…”
Yes, this has all the makings of a great joke, but it’s actually Luke 18:10. Eastern Orthodox Churches recall the story of the Pharisee and the Publican today, the fourth Sunday before Easter. A different section of the New Testament is read each weekend during Lent.
The Pharisee and the …Read more
Happy New Year!
It’s January 1 in the Orthodox Calendar, observed by Orthodox Churches in Russia, Macedonia, Serbia, and many of the former Soviet Republics, including Ukraine, Armenia, Belarus, and the one that’s all consonants. (Kryrrrgyztyrgystan)
So is Russia two weeks behind the times? Do they feel the need to have the last word on New Year’s Eve parties? Or does being torn between two New Year’s dates simply give them the chance to party for …Read more
September 14 is the Triumph of the Cross, in the Roman Catholic Church, or the Exaltation of the Cross in the Eastern Orthodox Church.
It commemorates the rediscovery of the cross on which Christ was executed. The True Cross was discovered by Helena, mother of Constantine, the first Christian Emperor of Rome, during her pilgrimage to Jerusalem in 326 AD.
Constantine later ordered a church to be built at the spot where the True Cross was …Read more
Dance with joy, O peoples! Clap your hands with gladness! Gather today with fervor and jubilation; Sing with exultation. The Mother of God is about to rise in glory, Ascending from earth to heaven.
Theotokos of Kazan
It’s called the Dormition, or the “falling asleep”. On its own, falling asleep might not sound like ample reason for a feast, no matter how much you like to sleep, but it’s a very big deal …Read more
transfiguration: a: a change in form or appearance; metamorphosis b: an exalting, glorifying, or spiritual change
The transfiguration, celebrated by the Roman Catholic Church each year on August 6, refers to what is perhaps history’s greatest Kodak moment: Jesus talking with the prophets Moses and Elijah (Elias) on the peak of Mount Tabor in 27AD.
Only the Apostles Peter, John and James witnessed the event, and unfortunately none of them posted pics it to their …Read more
Tsar Nicholas II
It’s not an official holiday yet, but with the Russian Orthodox Church’s beatification of the last Russian Tsar and his family in 2000, the Romanovs do have their own saint day—July 17—the anniversary of the day they were executed in 1918.
Nicholas II, the last Russian Tsar, is a touchy subject in the former Soviet Union. He and his family met a horrifying end at the hands of revolutionaries who banned all …Read more
April 24, 2011
April 4, 2010
In March the Protestant and Catholic Churches celebrated Easter; last week Jehovah’s Witnesses observed the Memorial of Christ’s Death; but today the Eastern Orthodox Church gets the last word, celebrating the Resurrection in what is known in many countries as Pascha.
The English word Easter is thought to derive from early pagan deities such as Eostre. In most Christian countries the holiday celebrating the Resurrection is referred to by variants …Read more