Monday, April 09, 2007

The joy of the feast

The week following Pascha (Easter) is called Bright Week in the Orthodox Church. It is a period of intense joy and celebration. During this week there is no fasting or abstinence (even on Wednesday and Friday*). The Royal Doors (sometimes called Great Doors) are kept open all week even during liturgy. And there is no kneeling or full body prostrations permitted at all until Ascension. This includes at home as well as in the church. The traditional greeting up until then is "Christ is risen!" With the traditional reply being "Truly He has risen!"

*Orthodox Christians of the Western Rite continue to abstain from meat (beef & poultry) on Fridays and Wednesdays during this period although fasting, as opposed to abstinence is prohibited until Ascension.

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