Orthodox Christian Beliefs and Practices

 

 


EASTER:

Artos:

The Artos is the Easter bread also called “pascha” or “darnyk”.  The Artos is blessed at the Easter Divine Liturgy before the Benediction.  The Artos commemorates the Resurrection of Jesus Christ who is “the Bread of Life Eternal descended from Heaven and nourishes us with food of His divine mercies”.  The blessed Artos is covered with the Icon of the Resurrection and is placed to stand in the Church, before the Royal Doors, where it remains during the Holy Easter week to commemorate Christ’s sojourn with the disciples after His Resurrection.  On the Saturday of Holy Easter week (on St. Thomas Sunday, usually) the Artos is broken with prayer and is then distributed to the faithful together with the Antidor, or is distributed separately – often with the Parish Easter dinner.

Provody:  Easter In Memoriams

Christ’s Church, as the “Church Universal”, is composed of the living membership (called the Church Militant) and souls of the departed (called the Church Triumphant).  The living membership share their Easter joy with the departed and pray for the repose of their souls.  Liturgical processions to the graves are held.  The Easter hymn and the In Memoriams are sung at the graves.  Such processions among Ukrainians are called provody.  Provody usually commence after St. Thomas Sunday.  For this reason it is called Providna nedilia.  However, Provody are arranged in many areas of the Orthodox Christendom for any days of Holy Easter week.  Provody are held to Ascension Day, if necessary, which is the period during which the Easter hymn is sung.

Stand and do not Kneel:

We stand and do not kneel during prayers and worship from Easter until and Evening Prayers of Pentecost.  This is a period of fifty days.  We, who have arisen from death through Christ, do not kneel during these Holy Days to mark the great gift given unto us.

No Fasting during Easter Holy week:

Fasting shall not be observed during any period of Holy Easter week.  This is a period of rejoicing.  The Church, however, does place a restriction on the solemnization of marriages and forbids all manner of public dancing, entertainments, etc. during this week which is dedicated to spiritual rejoicing.