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Pentecost - [Eastern Orthodox] Christian

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Time: 
Sun, 27/05/2018 (All day)
Location: 
EVERYWHERE.

Pentecost

In the Eastern Orthodox Church, Pentecost is one of the Orthodox Great Feasts and is considered to be the highest ranking Great Feast of the Lord, second in rank only to Pascha. The service is celebrated with an All-night Vigil on the eve of the feast day, and the Divine Liturgy on the day of the feast itself. Orthodox churches are often decorated with greenery and flowers on this feast day, and the celebration is intentionally similar to the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, which celebrates the giving of the Mosaic Law.

The feast itself lasts three days. The first day is known as "Trinity Sunday"; the second day is known as "Spirit Monday" (or "Monday of the Holy Spirit"); and the third day, Tuesday, is called the "Third Day of the Trinity."[26] The Afterfeast of Pentecost lasts for one week, during which fasting is not permitted, even on Wednesday and Friday. In the Orthodox Tradition, the liturgical color used at Pentecost is green, and the clergy and faithful carry flowers and green branches in their hands during the services.

A popular tradition arose in both west and east of decorating the church with roses on Pentecost, leading to a popular designation of Pentecost as LatinFesta Rosalia or "Rose Feast"; in Greek this became ρουσάλια(rousália).[27] This led to Rusalii becoming the Romanian language term for the feast, as well as the Neapolitanpopular designation Pasca rusata ("rosey Easter").[28] In modern times, the term in Greek refers to the eve of Pentecost, not Pentecost itself; or, in the case of Megara in Attica, to the Monday and Tuesday after Pascha,[29] as roses are often used during the whole liturgical season of the Pentecostarion, not just Pentecost. John Chrysostomwarned his flock not to allow this custom to replace spiritually adorning themselves with virtue in reception of the Fruits of the Holy Spirit.[27]

An extraordinary service called the Kneeling Prayer, is observed on the night of Pentecost. This is a Vespersservice to which are added three sets of long poetical prayers, the composition of Saint Basil the Great, during which everyone makes a full prostration, touching their foreheads to the floor (prostrations in church having been forbidden from the day of Pascha (Easter) up to this point). Uniquely, these prayers include a petition for all of those in hell, that they may be granted relief and even ultimate release from their confinement, if God deems this possible.[30]

All of the remaining days of the ecclesiastical year, until the preparation for the next Great Lent, are named for the day after Pentecost on which they occur (for example, the 13th Tuesday After Pentecost).

The Second Monday after Pentecost is the beginning of the Apostles' Fast (which continues until the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul on June 29). Theologically, Orthodox do not consider Pentecost to be the "birthday" of the Church; they see the Church as having existed before the creation of the world (cf. The Shepherd of Hermas)[31]

The Orthodox icon of the feast depicts the Twelve Apostles seated in a semicircle (sometimes the Theotokos (Virgin Mary) is shown sitting in the center of them). At the top of the icon, the Holy Spirit, in the form of tongues of fire, is descending upon them. At the bottom is an allegorical figure, called Kosmos, which symbolizes the world. Although Kosmos is crowned with earthly glory he sits in the darkness caused by the ignorance of God. He is holding a towel on which have been placed 12 scrolls, representing the teaching of the Twelve Apostles.

In the ancient Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, Pentecost is one of the seven Major "Lord's Feasts". It is celebrated at the time of ninth hour (3:00pm) on the Sunday of Pentecost by a special three-segment prayer known as the "Office of Genuflection (Kneeling Prayer)". This feast is followed with the "Apostles Fast" which has a fixed end date on the fifth of the Coptic month of Epip [which currently falls on July 12, which is equivalent to June 29, due to the current 13-day Julian-Gregorian calendar offset]. The fifth of Epip is the commemoration of the Martyrdom of St. Peter and Paul.