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Which are the twelve Great Feasts?


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#1 Dimitris

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 09:13 PM

Hallo!

The question may sound silly, but actually I am confused as to which feasts we count as the Twelve Great Feasts. I have different sources and they contradict each other. All sources list the following feasts:

1. Annunciation (March 25)
2. Nativity of Christ (December 25)
3. Presentation of the Lord (February 2)
4. Theophany (January 6)
5. Transfiguration of Christ (August 6)
6. Palm Sunday (Sunday before Pascha)
7. Ascension of Christ (40 days after Pascha)
8. Pentecost (50 days after Pascha)
9. Dormition of the Theotokos (August 15)

Then it is split: Some sources count the Nativity of the Theotokos (September 8), the Exaltation of the Cross (September 14) and the Presentation of the Theotokos (November 21) as part of the Great Twelve Feasts. Other sources (including a payer book by an Orthodox theologian) count the Lazarus Saturday, the Crucification of Christ and the Ressurection of Christ.

Which one is right? In my understanding the second mentioned sources are wrong, because I always thought that Pascha (Resurrection of Christ) is considered as above all other feasts, and furthermore the Crucification of Christ does not have Divine Liturgy, therefore it is not really a feast in this sense. On the other hand, the source for this opinion seems quite authorative to me.

#2 Jason H.

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 03:39 AM

There are other days of great importance in the life of the Church -- the Twelve Great Feasts, which commemorate and present us again to the historic presence of major events in the lives of our Lord Jesus Christ and his Holy Mother.

Seven greats feasts in honor of our Lord Jesus Christ and five great feasts honoring the Theotokos constitute the Twelve Great Feasts.

1) September 8, the Nativity of the Theotokos
2) September 14, the Elevation of the Holy Cross
3) November 21, the Presentation of the Theotokos
4) December 25, the Nativity of Christ (Christmas)
5) January 6, Theophany, the Baptism of Christ
6) February 2, the Presentation of Christ
7) March 25, the Annunciation
8) The Sunday before Pascha, Palm Sunday
9) Forty Days after Pascha, the Ascension of Christ
10) Fifty Days after Pascha, Pentecost
11) August 6, the Transfiguration
12) August 15, the Dormition (Falling Asleep) of the Theotokos

Source: OrthdoxWiki

#3 Dcn Alexander Haig

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 02:14 PM

There are other days of great importance in the life of the Church -- the Twelve Great Feasts, which commemorate and present us again to the historic presence of major events in the lives of our Lord Jesus Christ and his Holy Mother.

Seven greats feasts in honor of our Lord Jesus Christ and five great feasts honoring the Theotokos constitute the Twelve Great Feasts.

1) September 8, the Nativity of the Theotokos
2) September 14, the Elevation of the Holy Cross
3) November 21, the Presentation of the Theotokos
4) December 25, the Nativity of Christ (Christmas)
5) January 6, Theophany, the Baptism of Christ
6) February 2, the Presentation of Christ
7) March 25, the Annunciation
8) The Sunday before Pascha, Palm Sunday
9) Forty Days after Pascha, the Ascension of Christ
10) Fifty Days after Pascha, Pentecost
11) August 6, the Transfiguration
12) August 15, the Dormition (Falling Asleep) of the Theotokos

Source: OrthdoxWiki


Pascha doesn't appear in this list as it is the great Feast of Feasts, the centre of our life in Christ and therefore ranks above these twelve.

Feasts of the Lord (2, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10 and 11 in the scheme quoted) 'rank' above the feasts of the Mother of God (1, 3, 6, 7 and 12): if a feast of the Lord occurs on a Sunday, it replaces all the services to the Resurrection whereas a feast of the Panagia would be served alongside the Resurrection.

All the menaion feasts (those that fall on a specific date), with I think the exception of the Annunciation as it usually falls in the Great Fast, will have a fore-feast and after-feast (for example on the revised calendar today is in the after-feast of the Meeting).

In Xp

Alex

#4 Archimandrite Irenei

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 01:22 AM

Pascha, however, is never counted among the twelve Great Feasts. It is in a category of its own, and not numbered with the others.

#5 Fr Raphael Vereshack

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 03:21 PM

Alex Haig wrote:

All the menaion feasts (those that fall on a specific date), with I think the exception of the Annunciation as it usually falls in the Great Fast, will have a fore-feast and after-feast (for example on the revised calendar today is in the after-feast of the Meeting).


This is basically correct in principle. Still though the Annunciation has a one day forefeast (like most other great feasts) but only a one day after feast.

In Christ- Fr Raphael




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