An Afterfeast is a period of celebration attached to one of the Great Feasts celebrated by the Orthodox Christian and Eastern Catholic Churches (somewhat analogous to what in the West would be called an Octave).
The Eastern Orthodox Church, officially the Orthodox Catholic Church, is the second-largest Christian church, with approximately 200–260 million members. As one of the oldest religious institutions in the world, the Eastern Orthodox Church has played a prominent role in the history and culture of Eastern and Southeastern Europe, the Caucasus, and the Near East. It operates as a communion of autocephalous churches, each governed by its bishops in local synods. The church has no central doctrinal or governmental authority analogous to the Pope of Rome, but the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople is recognised by all as primus inter pares of the bishops.
The Eastern Catholic Churches or Oriental Catholic Churches, also called the Eastern-rite Catholic Churches, and in some historical cases Uniate Churches, are twenty-three Eastern Christian particular churches sui iuris in full communion with the Pope in Rome, as part of the worldwide Catholic Church. Headed by patriarchs, metropolitans, and major archbishops, the Eastern Catholic Churches are governed in accordance with the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, although each church also has its own canons and laws on top of this, and the preservation of their own traditions is explicitly encouraged. The total membership of the various churches accounts for about 18 million, according to the Annuario Pontificio, thus making up about 1.5 percent of the Catholic Church, with the rest of its more than 1.2 billion members belonging to the Latin Church, also known as the Western Church or the Roman Catholic Church.
The celebration of the Great Feasts of the church year are extended for a number of days, depending upon the particular Feast. Each day of an Afterfeast will have particular hymns assigned to it, continuing the theme of the Feast being celebrated. At each of the divine services during an Afterfeast, the (Gk.) troparion and (Gk.) kontakion of the feast are read or chanted. The (Gk.) canon of the feast will usually be chanted on every day of the Afterfeast (if two canons were chanted on the day of the feast, they will be alternated on the days of the afterfeast). Some of the Great Feasts of the Lord will have a special canon composed of only three odes, called a (Gk.) Triode, which will be chanted at Compline on each day of the Afterfeast.
A troparion in Byzantine music and in the religious music of Eastern Orthodox Christianity is a short hymn of one stanza, or organised in more complex forms as series of stanzas.
The kontakion is a form of hymn performed in the Orthodox and the Eastern Catholic liturgical traditions. The kontakion originated in the Byzantine Empire around the sixth century CE. It is divided into strophes and begins with a prologue. The kontakion usually has a biblical theme, and often features dialogue between biblical characters. By far the most important writer of kontakia is Romanos the Melodist. The only kontakion that is regularly performed in full today is the Akathist to the Theotokos.
Most of these Great Feasts also have a day or more of preparation called a Forefeast (those Feasts that are on the moveable Paschal Cycle do not have Forefeasts). Forefeasts and Afterfeasts will affect the structure of the services during the Canonical Hours.
The last day of an Afterfeast is called the Apodosis (Gk. "leave-taking", lit. "giving-back") of the Feast. On the Apodosis, most of the hymns that were chanted on the first day of the Feast are repeated. On the Apodosis of Feasts of the Theotokos, the Epistle and Gospel from the day of the Feast are repeated again at the Divine Liturgy.
Theotokos is a title of Mary, mother of Jesus, used especially in Eastern Christianity. The usual Latin translations, Dei Genetrix or Deipara, are "Mother of God" or "God-bearer".
Divine Liturgy or Holy Liturgy is the Eucharistic service of the Byzantine Rite, developed from the Antiochene Rite of Christian liturgy which is that of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. As such, it is used in the Eastern Orthodox, the Greek Catholic Churches, and the Ukrainian Lutheran Church. Although the same term is sometimes applied in English to the Eucharistic service of Armenian Christians, both of the Armenian Apostolic Church and of the Armenian Catholic Church, they use in their own language a term meaning "holy offering" or "holy sacrifice". Other churches also treat "Divine Liturgy" simply as one of many names that can be used, but it is not their normal term.
The Forefeasts and Afterfeasts break down as follows:
| Days of |
| Name of |
|1||Nativity of the Theotokos||8 September||5|
|1||Exaltation of the Cross||14 September||8|
|1||Entry of the Theotokos||21 November||5|
|5||Nativity of our Lord||25 December||7|
|4||Theophany of our Lord||6 January||9|
|1||Meeting of our Lord||2 February||8|
|0||Palm Sunday||Sunday before Pascha||0|
|1||Annunciation of the Theotokos||25 March||2|
|0||Pascha||Sunday of the Resurrection||39|
|0||Mid-Pentecost||Twenty-fifth day of Pascha||7|
|0||Ascension of our Lord||Fortieth day of Pascha||9|
|0||Pentecost (Trinity Sunday)||Fiftieth day of Pascha||7|
|1||Transfiguration of our Lord||6 August||8|
|1||Dormition of the Theotokos||15 August||9|
Four of these Afterfeasts have a special commemoration on the day following the Feast, called a (Gk.) Synaxis. In this context, a Synaxis commemorates a saint who is intimately bound up with the Feast being celebrated. The four Synaxes are:
In Eastern Christianity, a Synaxis is a liturgical assembly, generally for the celebration of Vespers, Matins, Little Hours, and the Divine Liturgy.
Joachim was the husband of Saint Anne and the father of Mary, the mother of Jesus, according to the Catholic, Orthodox, and Anglican traditions. The story of Joachim and Anne first appears in the apocryphal Gospel of James. Joachim and Anne are not mentioned in the Bible. His feast day is 26 July.
According to apocryphal Christian and Islamic tradition, Saint Anne, of David's house and line, was the mother of Mary and grandmother of Jesus. Mary's mother is not named in the canonical gospels, but is mentioned as the daughter of Faqud in Quran. In writing, Anne's name and that of her husband Joachim come only from New Testament apocrypha, of which the Gospel of James seems to be the earliest that mentions them.
John the Baptist was a Jewish itinerant preacher in the early first century AD. John is revered as a major religious figure in Christianity, Islam, the Bahá'í Faith, and Mandaeism. He is called a prophet by all of these faiths, and is honored as a saint in many Christian traditions. Other titles for John include John the Forerunner in Eastern Christianity and "the prophet John (Yaḥyā)" in Islam. To clarify the meaning of "Baptist", he is sometimes alternatively called John the Baptizer.
Other Great Feasts that have Afterfeasts (although no Forefeasts) are:
Each of these three has only 1 day of Afterfeast, and no Apodosis. These are not counted among the Twelve Great Feasts (i.e., Great Feasts of the Lord or Theotokos).
Even though the Patronal Feast of a parish church or monastery is treated as a Great Feast, it has no Forefeast or Afterfeast.
The Feast of the Procession of the Cross (August 1), though it is not counted as a Great Feast, has one day of Forefeast, and no Afterfeast.
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 (Easter).
The liturgical year, also known as the church year or Christian year, as well as the kalendar, consists of the cycle of liturgical seasons in Christian churches that determines when feast days, including celebrations of saints, are to be observed, and which portions of Scripture are to be read either in an annual cycle or in a cycle of several years.
A solemnity is, in the liturgical calendar of the Roman Rite, a feast day of the highest rank celebrating a mystery of faith such as the Trinity, an event in the life of Jesus, his mother Mary, or another important saint. The observance begins with the vigil on the evening before the actual date of the feast. Unlike feast days of the rank of feast or those of the rank of memorial, solemnities replace the celebration of Sundays outside Advent, Lent, and Easter.
The Annunciation, also referred to as the Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Annunciation of Our Lady, or the Annunciation of the Lord, is the Catholic celebration of the announcement by the Archangel Gabriel to the Blessed Virgin Mary that she would conceive and become the mother of Jesus, the Son of God, marking His Incarnation. Gabriel told Mary to name her son Yeshua, meaning "YHWH is salvation".
In the Eastern Orthodox Church, the feast of the Resurrection of Jesus, called Pascha (Easter), is the greatest of all holy days and as such it is called the "feast of feasts". Immediately below it in importance, there is a group of Twelve Great Feasts. Together with Pascha, these are the most significant dates on the Orthodox liturgical calendar. Eight of the great feasts are in honor of Jesus Christ, while the other four are dedicated to the Virgin Mary — the Theotokos.
Christmas Sunday is a name for the Sunday after Christmas.
The Eastern Orthodox Liturgical Calendar describes and dictates the rhythm of the life of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Passages of Holy Scripture, saints and events for commemoration are associated with each date, as are many times special rules for fasting or feasting that correspond to the day of the week or time of year in relationship to the major feast days.
The Nativity Fast is a period of abstinence and penance practiced by the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Eastern Catholic Churches, in preparation for the Nativity of Jesus. The corresponding Western season of preparation for Christmas, which also has been called the Nativity Fast and St. Martin's Lent, has taken the name of Advent. The Eastern fast runs for 40 days instead of four or six weeks and thematically focuses on proclamation and glorification of the Incarnation of God, whereas the Western Advent focuses on the two comings of Jesus Christ: his birth and his Second Coming or Parousia.
"Octave" has two senses in Christian liturgical usage. In the first sense, it is the eighth day after a feast, reckoning inclusively, and so always falls on the same day of the week as the feast itself. The word is derived from Latin octava (eighth), with dies (day) understood. In the second sense, the term is applied to the whole period of these eight days, during which certain major feasts came to be observed.
The Nativity of John the Baptist is a Christian feast day celebrating the birth of John the Baptist, a prophet who foretold the coming of the Messiah in the person of Jesus, whom he later baptised.
The Feast of the Annunciation, contemporarily the Solemnity of the Annunciation, also known as Lady Day, the Feast of the Incarnation, Conceptio Christi, commemorates the visit of the archangel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary, during which he informed her that she would be the mother of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It is celebrated on 25 March each year. In the Roman Catholic Church, when 25 March falls during the Paschal Triduum, it is transferred forward to the first suitable day during Eastertide. In Eastern Orthodoxy and Eastern Catholicism, it is never transferred, even if it falls on Pascha (Easter). The concurrence of these two feasts is called Kyriopascha.
The Pentecostarion is the liturgical book used by the Eastern Orthodox and Byzantine Catholic churches during the Paschal Season which extends from Pascha (Easter) to the Sunday following All Saints Sunday.
The Matins Gospel is the solemn chanting of a lection from one of the Four Gospels during Matins in the Orthodox Church and those Eastern Catholic churches which follow the Byzantine Rite.
Mid-Pentecost or Midfeast, also Meso-Pentecost ; Russian: Преполове́ние Пятидеся́тницы is a feast day which occurs during the Paschal season in the Eastern Orthodox Church and those Eastern Catholic Churches which follow the Byzantine Rite.
Marian feast days are specific holy days of the liturgical year recognized by Christians as significant Marian days for the celebration of events in the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary and her veneration. The number of Marian feasts celebrated, their names can vary among Christian denominations.
The Dismissal is the final blessing said by a Christian priest or minister at the end of a religious service. In liturgical churches the dismissal will often take the form of ritualized words and gestures, such as raising the minister's hands over the congregation, or blessing with the sign of the cross. The use of a final blessing at the end of a liturgical service may be based upon the Priestly Blessing prescribed for the kohanim in the Torah.
Katabasia or Katavasia is a type of hymn, and the last troparion of an ode of a canon, chanted in the Eastern Orthodox Church and those Eastern Catholic Churches which follow the Byzantine Rite. Its name is derived from the Greek word katabasia for descent, so called because the cantors used to go down from their stalls and unite in the middle of the church to sing them.
December 28 - Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar - December 30