Classification of Feasts

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In the [[Orthodox Church]], liturgical celebrations are ranked according to a hierarchy of several '''classifications'''.  Each class as its own characteristics and is expressed in the divine servcies and disciplines of the Church in a particular way.  See also [[feast day]].
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== General ==
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[[Pascha]] is in a class of its own, ranking above all other commemorations.
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The twelve [[Great Feasts]] are divided between '''First Class Feasts''' (feasts of our Lord) and '''Second Class Feasts''' (feasts of the [[Theotokos]]).
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The lesser classes—'''Third Class Feasts''', '''Fourth Class Feasts''', and '''Fifth Class Feasts'''—commemorate the lives of the [[saints]], holy events, and holy objects.  Between the Third Class and Fourth Class there are two '''Intermediate Classes'''.
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== First Class Feasts—Feasts of the Lord ==
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:[[Elevation of the Holy Cross]], [[September 14]]
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:[[Nativity]] of Christ (Christmas), [[December 25]]
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:[[Theophany]], [[January 6]]
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:[[Palm Sunday]], the Sunday before [[Pascha]]
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:[[Ascension]], forty days after Pascha
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:[[Pentecost]], fifty days after Pascha
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:[[Transfiguration]], [[August 6]]
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*Most of these feasts have both a [[forefeast]] and a [[leavetaking]] (exceptions: '''Palm Sunday''' has neither; '''Ascension''' and '''Pentecost''' have a leavetaking but no forefeast).
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*An [[All-Night Vigil]] is appointed for the eve of the feast. 
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*At [[Vespers|Great Vespers]]
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**The [[Psalter#Kathismata|kathisma]] reading from the [[Psalter]] that follows the litany of peace is omitted unless the feast coincides with a [[Sunday]], in which case the first kathisma (Psalms 1-8) is read at Great Vespers on Saturday evening as usual (exceptions: the first kathisma is omitted on the eve of Pentecost and on the eves of '''Nativity''', '''Theophany''', and '''Transfiguration''' when those feasts fall on a Sunday).
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**Old Testament readings follow the prokeimenon.
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*[[Festal Orthros]]
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**The [[polyeleos]] (Psalms 134 and 135) is chanted immediately after the second poetic kathisma (on a Sunday it replaces the [[amomos]] (Psalm 118) as the third reading from the Psalter).
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**Select Psalm verses from the [[eclogarion]] can follow the polyeleos, if desired.
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**There is a gospel [[pericope]] for the feast (chanted from the [[Holy Doors]] and without a veneration following).
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**The praises and the great doxology are chanted.
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*At the [[Divine Liturgy]] for the feast, the patronal [[troparion]] of the temple is suppressed.
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*The divine services are for the feast alone; all other commemorations are suppressed (even on a Sunday). 
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*When the feast falls on a [[fasting|fasting day]], the fast is relaxed to permit fish, wine, and oil.
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== Second Class Feasts—Feasts of the Theotokos ==
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:[[Nativity of the Theotokos]], [[September 8]]
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:[[Presentation of the Theotokos]], [[November 21]]
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:[[Dormition]] (Falling Asleep) of the Theotokos, [[August 15]]
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:[[Presentation|''Presentation of Christ'']], [[February 2|''February 2'']]'''+'''
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:[[Annunciation|''Annunciation'']], [[March 25|''March 25'']]'''+'''
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:'''+ ''These are considered Feasts of the Theotokos, but they also share certain characteristics proper to First Class Feasts''.'''
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*These feasts have both a forefeast and a leavetaking. 
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*An All-Night Vigil is appointed for the eve of the feast. 
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*At Great Vespers
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**When the feast falls on any day other than Sunday, the kathisma reading appointed for the day is replaced by the first stasis of the first kathisma (Psalms 1-3) (exceptions: at the Great Vespers for the '''Presentation of Christ''' and '''Annunciation''' the kathisma reading is omitted altogether). 
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**When the feast falls on a Sunday the first kathisma (Psalms 1-8) is read at Great Vespers on Saturday evening as usual.
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**Old Testament readings follow the prokeimenon.
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*At Festal Orthros
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**The polyeleos (Psalms 134 and 135, or Psalm 44 with its poetic refrains) is chanted immediately after the second poetic kathisma (on a Sunday it replaces the amomos (Psalm 118) as the third reading from the Psalter).
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**Select Psalm verses from the eclogarion can follow the polyeleos, if desired.
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**There is a gospel pericope for the feast (chanted from the holy doors and without a veneration following).
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**The praises and the great doxology are chanted.
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*At the Divine Liturgy for the feast, the patronal troparion of the temple is suppressed.
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*When the feast falls on a Sunday the services for the feast are combined with those of the Resurrection from the [[Octoechos]]. 
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*When the feast falls on a fasting day, the fast is relaxed to permit fish, wine, and oil (exception: when '''Annunciation''' falls during [[Holy Week]], wine and oil (but not fish) are permitted; when '''Annunciation''' falls on [[Holy_Week|Holy Friday]] or [[Holy Saturday]], wine (but not oil or fish) are permitted).
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== Third Class Feasts—Vigil and Polyeleos Commemorations ==
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'''Third Class Feasts''' are commemorations for which the [[Menaion]] includes a complete akolouthia.
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*These feasts generally do not have a forefeast or a leavetaking (exceptions: the commemorations of St. [[Demetrios]] ([[October 26]]), the [[Nativity of the Forerunner]] ([[June 24]]), Ss. [[Peter and Paul]] ([[June 29]]), and the [[Beheading of the Forerunner]] ([[August 29]]) each has a leavetaking). 
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*An All-Night Vigil may be appointed if there is a text for [[Little Vespers]] in the Menaion, in which case the commemoration is designated '''Vigil'''.  Otherwise, an All-Night Vigil is not appointed and the commemoration is designated '''Polyeleos'''.
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*At Great Vespers
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**When the feast falls on any day other than Sunday, the kathisma reading appointed for the day is replaced by the first stasis of the first kathisma (Psalms 1-3). 
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**When the feast falls on a Sunday the first kathisma (Psalms 1-8) is read at Great Vespers on Saturday evening as usual.
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**Old Testament readings follow the prokeimenon.
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*At Festal Orthros
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**The polyeleos (Psalms 134 and 135, or Psalm 44 with its poetic refrains) is chanted immediately after the second poetic kathisma (on a Sunday it replaces the amomos (Psalm 118) as the third reading from the Psalter).
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**Select Psalm verses from the eclogarion can follow the polyeleos, if desired.
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**There is a gospel pericope for the feast (chanted from the holy doors and without a veneration following).
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**The praises and the great doxology are chanted.
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* When the feast falls on a Sunday the services for the feast are combined with those of the Resurrection from the [[Octoechos]].
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*When the feast falls on a fasting day, the fast is relaxed to permit wine and oil (exception: the '''Beheading of the Forerunner''' (August 29) is always observed as a strict fast day when it falls on a weekday; when it falls on a Saturday or Sunday wine and oil are permitted).  If it is the patronal feastday, fish may be permitted, as well.
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== Intermediate Classes ==
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=== ''Katholicon'' ===
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=== ''Small Bells'' ===
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== Fourth Class Feasts ==
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== Fifth Class Feasts ==
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== Sources ==
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* ''The Liturgikon: The Book of Divine Services for the Priest and Deacon'', Bishop [[Basil (Essey) of Wichita]] (ISBN 0962419001)
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* [http://www.networks-now.net/litresswraoc/Typicon_Charts.htm Website of the St. Raphael Clergy Brotherhood of the Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America]
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* ''The Festal Menaion'', tr. by Mother Mary and Archimandrite (now Bishop) Kallistos (St. Tikhon's Seminary Press) (ISBN 1878997009)
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* ''The Pentecostarion'', tr. Holy Transfiguration Monastery (ISBN 0943405025)
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{{stub}}
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[[Category:Feasts]]
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[[Category:Liturgics]]
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Revision as of 03:32, June 10, 2008

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