Monday, May 06, 2013

Bright Week

The icon for Bright Monday

Bright Week and the forty days of Pascha (Easter) are a period of celebration as we rejoice in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. In recognition of this we observe certain customs, and relax various disciplines as an expression of this joy. To whit there is no fasting until the second Wednesday following Pascha.  Penitential disciplines of any kind are a no no during Bright Week as we are feasting with the Bridegroom. This is true even in monasteries. While monastics will keep their abstinence from meat, they too will be feasting on fish, cheeses and sweets.

In our church temples the royal doors will be open throughout Bright Week, even during liturgies.

And finally both kneeling and prostrations, whether at home or in church, are prohibited for forty days following Pascha.


sjgmore said...

I'm not Orthodox, so can I ask what the rationale behind prohibiting prostrations is? I can sort of intuit why that might be the case, but it still seems like an interesting enough quirk of a devotional practice to make me wonder why it's done that way. I always enjoy learning about the differences in piety and things like that between you Orthodox and us Papists. :)

Visibilium said...

Some folks don't fast during the entire fifty days after Pascha. My parish priest tolerates this practice.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

Kneeling and prostrations are penitential acts that we abstain from during the 40 days of Easter.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

I think this is one of those areas where your mileage will vary. Local customs and all that. In the Western Church, back when still kept the Lenten Fast, they also did not fast during the 40 days of Easter. But they kept the Wednesday and Friday meat abstinence even during Bright Week.

Dn Paul said...

In the Antiochian tradition, we do not fast until the eve of the Ascension, which (iirc) is a strict fast. Normality resumes thereafter.

Christ is Risen!