Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar

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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.

There are two types of feasts in the Orthodox Church calendar: fixed and movable. Fixed feasts occur on the same calendar day every year, whereas movable feasts change each year. The moveable feasts are generally relative to Pascha (Easter), and so the cycle of moveable feasts is referred to as the Paschal cycle.

Fixed feasts

Russian icon depicting the calendar of saints (18th-19th century). Cheryi-minei.jpg
Russian icon depicting the calendar of saints (18th-19th century).

The following list of dates links only to fixed feasts of the Orthodox Church. These are the fixed dates; the particular day on which that date is observed differs depending upon whether one follows the Julian Calendar (sometimes referred to as the "Old Calendar") or the Revised Julian Calendar ("New Calendar"). All dates having to do with Pascha (Easter) - the beginning of Great Lent, Ascension, Pentecost, etc. - are moveable feasts, and thus are not on this calendar (see Paschal cycle).

These important notes should be remembered in using the following calendar:

The number of days by which the Gregorian calendar differs from the Julian calendar is currently 13, but will increase to 14 on March 1, 2100. Over the course of future centuries, the difference will continue to increase, limitlessly.

The Orthodox liturgical year begins on September 1.

September 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30
October 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
November 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30
December     1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
January 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
February 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 (29)
March 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
April 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30
May 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
June 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30
July 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
August 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Moveable feasts

Pascha is, by far, the most important day in the ecclesiastical year, and all other days, in one way or another, are dependent upon it. Pascha falls on different calendar dates from year to year, calculated according to a strict set of rules (see Computus for details). While the Fixed Cycle begins on September 1 [1] , the new Paschal Cycle begins on "Zaccheus Sunday" in the Slavic tradition or the "Sunday of the Canaanite Woman" in the Greek tradition[ citation needed ] (the beginning of the preparatory season before Great Lent), eleven Sundays before Pascha, and continues until the Zaccheus Sunday or Sunday of the Canaanite Woman of the following year. The Epistle and Gospel readings at the Divine Liturgy throughout the year are determined by the date of Pascha.

Great Feasts

There are Twelve Great Feasts throughout the church year—not counting Pascha, which is above and beyond all other feast days. These are feasts which celebrate major historical events in the lives of Jesus Christ or the Theotokos (Virgin Mary). Of these, three are on the Paschal Cycle:

The other Great Feasts are on the Fixed Cycle:

In addition, the feast day of the patron saint of a parish church or monastery is counted as a Great Feast, and is celebrated with great solemnity.

Liturgical seasons

In addition to Great Lent, there are three other lesser lenten seasons in the church year:

The season from the Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee (three weeks before the Great Lent) through Holy Saturday is called Triodion, while the season from Pascha through Pentecost is called the Pentecostarion.

Printed calendars

Because of the complexity created by the intersection of the various cycles, a number of Orthodox institutions will print an annual calendar (Russian: Spisok) which contains rubrics for the services during that particular year. Simpler wall calendars will show the major commemoration of the day together with the appointed scripture readings.

See also

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Byzantine Rite liturgical rite of most Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches

The Byzantine Rite, also known as the Greek Rite or Constantinopolitan Rite, is the liturgical rite used by the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Greek Catholic Churches, and in a modified form, Byzantine Rite Lutheranism. Its development began during the fourth century in Constantinople and it is now the second most-used ecclesiastical rite in Christendom after the Roman Rite.

Great feasts in the Eastern Orthodox Church

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Paschal cycle Cycle of feasts in Eastern Orthodoxy

The Paschal cycle, in the Eastern Orthodox Church, is the cycle of the moveable feasts built around Pascha (Easter). The cycle consists of approximately ten weeks before and seven weeks after Pascha. The ten weeks before Pascha are known as the period of the Triodion. This period includes the three weeks preceding Great Lent, the forty days of Lent, and Holy Week. The 50 days following Pascha are called the Pentecostarion.

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Nativity Fast Period of abstinence and penance practiced by the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Eastern Catholic Churches

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Apostles Fast fast observed by Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Christians; begins on the 2nd (In the Byzantine tradition) or 1st (in the Coptic/Syriac traditions) 2nd Monday after Pentecost; ends on the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul

The Apostles Fast, also called the Fast of the Holy Apostles, the Fast of Peter and Paul, or sometimes St. Peter's Fast, is a fast observed by Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Catholic, and Reformed Orthodox Christians. In the Byzantine tradition, the Fast begins on the second Monday after Pentecost, whereas in the Coptic and old Syriac traditions, the Fast begins on the first Monday after Pentecost. It continues until the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul on June 29. Its duration varies from eight to forty-two days because of the moveable nature of Pascha (Easter).

Feast of the Annunciation Slavic folk Christianity

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.

Pentecostarion Liturgical book in Eastern Christianity

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.

An Afterfeast is a period of celebration attached to one of the Great Feasts celebrated by the Orthodox Christian and Eastern Catholic Churches.

Eastern Orthodox worship

Eastern Orthodox worship in this article is distinguished from Eastern Orthodox prayer in that 'worship' refers to the activity of the Christian Church as a body offering up prayers to God while 'prayer' refers to the individual devotional traditions of the Orthodox.

Menaion

The Menaion is the liturgical book used by the Eastern Orthodox Church containing the propers for fixed dates of the calendar year, i.e. entities not dependent of the date of Pascha.

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.

Katavasia

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.

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