What Are the Major Feasts of the Greek Orthodox Church?
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The Great Feasts are an important part of the Greek Orthodox Christian Church. The feasts are considered to be the most important celebrations observed in the church and they occur once a year. There are twelve. Pascha, or Easter, is considered to be the most important. Besides that, there are twelve additional ones. Here’s more information:
Pascha (Easter) is a celebration of the Resurrection of Christ. This is looked at as the biggest of the Great Feasts because it is the reasons the church exists! This takes place at different times each year because it is calculated by assessing the first full moon after the Jewish holiday, Passover. Great and Holy Lent and Holy Week are also considered to be part of this time.
Epiphany, or the The Feast of the Holy Theophany (Epiphany) of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ, is celebrated on January 6th of each year. On this day, we celebrate the baptism of Jesus Christ.
Presentation of Christ
The Presentation of Christ in the Temple, also known as The Meeting of Our Lord, takes place every year on February 2nd. This feast celebrates the day that Jesus was presented to the temple.
The Annunciation, also known as the Feast of the Annunciation of Our Most Holy Lady, takes place every year on March 25th. This feast celebrates the day the Virgin was told by Archangel Gabriel that Jesus Christ would enter the world through her womb.
This feast takes place the Sunday before Pascha and celebrates the triumphant day Jesus Christ arrived in Jerusalem after he raised Lazarus from the dead. The exact date changes every year
Ascension of Christ
The Ascension of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ takes place each year on the fortieth day after Pascha (Easter). The exact date varies each year because the date of Easter changes. It celebrates the day Jesus brought his disciples to the Mount of Olives.
Pentecost, also known as takes place each year fifty days after Easter and ten days after Ascension. This is when the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus’s disciples and thus marks the official beginning of the Orthodox Church.
The Transfiguration, also known as the Transfiguration of Our Lord, takes places every year on August 6th. This feast commemorates when Jesus Christ was revealed in all of His divine glory to three of his disciples – the Apostles Peter, James, and John.
The Dormition of the Theotokos takes place each year on August 15th. On this day, Greek Orthodox Christians celebrate the repose of the Virgin Mary and when she “fell asleep”.
Nativity of the Theotokos
The Nativity of the Theotokos, also known as The Feast of the Nativity of Our Most Holy Lady, takes places each year on September 8th. During this feast, we celebrate the birth of the Virgin Mary.
Exaltation of the Cross
The Exaltation of the Cross, also known as The Universal Exaltation of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross, takes place each year on September 14th. On this day, Saint Helen, the mother of Emperor Constantine, found the True Cross.
Entrance of the Theotokos to the Temple
The Feast of the Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple, also known as The Feast of the Entrance into the Temple of Our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary, is celebrated on November 21st. On this day, Orthodox Christians celebrate when the Virgin Mary entered the temple for the first time.
Nativity of Christ
The Nativity Christ takes place each year on December 25th. On this day, we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
These feasts are celebrated each year and are a vital part of the Orthodox Christian Church calendar.
The Religion section on GreekBoston.com was written by Greeks to help people understand some of the traditions of the Orthodox Christian religion, which is a religion practiced by people in countries such as Greece, Russia, United States, and other nations throughout the world. This article is not a substitute for information found in the Holy Bible or by our church fathers, priests, and other clergy members.
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