Great Feasts

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Revision as of 08:52, July 21, 2008

The Great Feasts (major feasts) of the Orthodox Church are the major celebrations throughout the liturgical year. While various saints and events are celebrated with significance on the local level, the entire Church celebrates together thirteen feasts above all the rest, Pascha and the Twelve Great Feasts.

Pascha

The feast of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, called Pascha (Easter), is the greatest of the feasts of the Orthodox Church. It is not counted among the twelve major feasts of the Church since it is considered by itself as the "Feast of Feasts." It is celebrated on the first Sunday after the Paschal Full Moon (see Paschalion).

The Twelve Great Feasts

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

Icons of the Twelve Great Feasts

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