The dating of Pascha comes from Holy Tradition, which God set into place. He performs the Miracle of the Holy Fire each year because we still honor him through Tradition, as well as the virtues.
Posted 29 February 2016 - 07:58 PM
I do find post #40 a little puzzling. It is true that all the mystical events we mark in the Church exist outside of time and space, and we think of every Sunday as a 'little Pascha'. But the Church, guided as she is by the Holy Spirit, has set a timeous rhythm to the year and sets dates for the observance of the events set forth in the Orthodox calendar. Central to the calendar is Pascha, 'the feast of feasts'. Miracles of various sorts do indeed occur regardless of dates but the miracle of the holy light is evidently determined by divine Providence to occur when it does, like the miracle of the turning of the flow of the River Jordan at Theophany.
Posted 29 February 2016 - 09:35 PM
Re post #43, I'm afraid I don't quite follow: the quote given refers to any gathering of Christians regardless of date - the Church has given meaning to dates.
As to post #44, I would say that what happens and so forth, and the holy light's spiritual blessing, are bound together.
Edited by Rdr Andreas, 29 February 2016 - 09:38 PM.
Posted 03 March 2016 - 05:11 PM
I agree with Andreas concerning the miracle of the Holy Light. Attached to the spiritual blessing, the physical manifestation is itself a good thing and a blessing. How many people at the Sepulcher each seem to acquire a youthful joy and excitement at the reception of the flame, or even at first seeing the rays of the candles emerge from the tomb? It is in some ways like a modern, yearly account of the Resurrection, where Christ the Light emerges from the tomb like the High Priest from the Holy of Holies, shimmering and resplendent, allowing His own brilliant countenance to pass on to the faces of those whom He wills.
Posted 03 March 2016 - 05:30 PM
absolutely! Those who are not of the Holy Orthodox Church may pray and gather two or more and may celebrate "Easter" on a date other than "Pascha". However, the Holy Fire, Un Created Light, has and will continue to come to the Church of the Resurrection each "Orthodox" Holy Saturday afternoon. This is a miracle which our God continues to show us the correct worship. Gather as many as you like to pray that the Holy Fire will come to some other location on some other date, I think you will be disappointed. I agree that dates may have no meaning of themselves, it is when our Lord specifically and continually Graces a particular date that has meaning.
Posted 04 March 2016 - 09:56 PM
However, it is interesting to note that the Julian and revised Julian calendars both welcome the miraculous cloud on Mount Tabor during the Vigil of the Holy Transfiguration of the Lord each year. God the Holy Spirit is gracious to all the faithful in this way.
Posted 06 March 2016 - 05:23 PM
You hit the nail on the head my friend. The Holy light shows the way and the truth, it is not following us, we ascend to it. God points to this Feast and to certain Saints. It is then our task to see and follow or be in disbelief.
While I appreciate all of your posts it seems to me you are on a wrong path here. It is the Church which is the pillar of the truth and the source of wonders and saints, not the other way round. The Holy Light appears because the Church is celebrating a certain occasion, not the Church celebrates an occasion on a certain date because the wonders only appears on that date.
Posted 06 March 2016 - 06:38 PM
Post #53 reminds me that the annual phenomenon at the village of Markopoulo in Kefalonia, Greece, of serpents appearing and making their way to the church and the icons of the Mother of God occurs on 15 August, the New Calendar date of the Dormition of the Mother of God.
Posted 06 March 2016 - 09:01 PM
Laki Papas, that is exactly what I am saying. I certainly believe in the power of prayer, however, it is God who decides which person to become a saint not our prayers, and it is God who has shown us Pascha. If the Holy Orthodox Church were to decide to become heretic/schismatic of itself, and chose another method to date Pascha I do believe we would no longer have the Holy light on Pascha eve, and since no Church at that point would be following Holy Tradition, God would not allow anyone to see the Holy and Un Created Light.
Dimitris, the Church is the Body of Christ on earth. As long as that is kept, in other words, the commandments, the traditions, then God's grace will be present in the Church. But when the Church acts on it's own and regects the truths which the Christ and his Apostiles have established, yes, then the Grace will back off. Remember the parable about the cup and cleaning only the outside of it?
Posted 07 March 2016 - 06:49 PM
Lakis, I think examples of what you mean would be helpful.
In the beginning, the Christian Pascha was the occasion for the remembrance of the entire work of redemption, with a special reference to the Cross and the Resurrection. By the second century the churches of Asia Minor had come to observe Pascha on the 14 of Nisan, the day on which the Lord was crucified, while all the other churches observed Pascha on the Sunday after the 14 of Nisan, emphasizing the resurrection. These two ways of computing the date of Pascha gave rise to the Paschal controversies of the second century. At the beginning of the third century, these disputes were settled in favor of the Sunday observance of Pascha. However, difficulties with inadequate calendars continued to plague the local churches, until the issue was finally resolved by the First Ecumenical Synod of Nicea in 325 A.D. The Fathers of the Synod decreed that henceforth Pascha was to be celebrated on the first Sunday, after the first full moon of the spring equinox. The Synod, also, determined that the date would be calculated in accordance with the Alexandrian calendar. The Orthodox Church continues to maintain this order.
Posted 07 March 2016 - 09:16 PM
I believe that finally, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the Church Father's were enlightened on how and when to celebrate Pascha(passover). That is how and when the Holy Fire began to appear. Many testimonies to the Holy Light are available and the one mentioned in this thread, http://www.impantokr...56777F.en.aspx, clearly shows that God decides where, when, how and who to the un created light will be sent.
Posted 07 March 2016 - 10:09 PM
I think the key word here from the G.O.Arch website is 'universal' or catholic, whilst practices before Nicea varied by location it was at Nicea where the Holy Fathers, many of whom were confessors from the persecutions, defined the practices relating to Pascha for the whole catholic Church. We believe that those same fathers were inspired by the Holy Spirit defining the statement of faith (the creed) and anathematizing those heretics who blasphemed the Son of God calling the Creator a creature. In both things they were guided by the same Spirit defining even as it was revealed to them. Do we believe then that any bishop or council of bishops has the authority to declare differently to them? To declare a new dating for Pascha? No for such is not the mind of the Church which holds fast to the Holy Tradition handed down to us. There are practices wherein local Churches differ, there are points of Theology wherein we have no defined belief, but that which is fundamental to Orthodox Faith which has been reveled and defined in the Scriptures and in the Councils of the Church cannot be changed. As for whether the feast is celebrated on one day or over several days this has not been defined but again it has become universal practice. This does not mean there can be no changes; the format of services and the use of the Paschal cannon are both developments, likewise there might be justification for collectively looking at the timing of the services - for example the gradual shift of services to early in the day until the point where the service of the Crucifixion takes place at the time the Lord's supper would have been celebrated- but there can be no change from the fundamental dating of Pascha as established catholicity (universally) at Nicea to a fixed date.
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