The Holy Fifties period is concluded by the Pentecost Feast, when the Holy Spirit descended on all the apostles and started preaching to Jews, Samaritans and to all nations.
Number 50 represents eternity. If 7 represents the weekday’s cycle, so 49 (7 x 7) represents the completion of the earthy life. The day after the 49th i.e. the 50th day, represents the eternal life following the completion of our earthly life
50th year is the year of Jubilee (Deliverance)
“That fiftieth year shall be a jubilee to you; in it you shall neither sow nor reap what grows of its own accord, nor gather the grapes of your untended vine. (Leviticus 25:11)
Pentecost Feast always comes on the 8th Sunday from resurrection Sunday, exactly 50 days after resurrection and 10 days after Ascension feast which always comes on Thursday.
The church starts the Fast of the Holy Apostles on the Monday right after the Pentecost Sunday. We sing the famous hymn “Asomen to Kerio” – “Let us praise the Lord” in many languages – Creek, Coptic, English Arabic, during the distribution throughout the fast starting from the Pentecost Sunday. This represents the many languages the apostles spoke once filled with the Holy Spirit.
The Apostle fast always ends on Apep 5th (July 12th)the Feast of the Apostles, which commemorates the date when St. Peter and St. Paul were both martyred in Rome under the rule of Nero the Emperor.
St. Paul – being a Roman citizen – was beheaded but St. Peter – not a Roman Citizen- was crucified upside down upon his request. He deemed himself unworthy of dying like his Master.
The period of the Apostle fast varies based on the date of the Coptic “Oriental” Orthodox Easter which follows the Julian calendar. In other words; if Easter came early in the year, then the Apostle fast will be longer, whereas, if Easter came late in the year, the Apostle fast will be shorter. See below:
Easter ——-40 Days——- Ascension –10 Days –Pentecost —-Varies— Apostle Feast (Fixed July 12th)
May 1 ——-40 Days——- June 9 ——-10 Days –—-June19 ——–21 days———- July 12th
April 12 ——-40 Days——- May 21 ——-10 Days –—May 31 ——–41 days——— July 12th
We pray in standard tune throughout the Apostle Fast and we can eat fish except on Wednesdays and Fridays.
Think about it:
- Which day of the week the Ascension Feast always fall on?
- Why do we sing the Asomen hymn in many languages?
- Where were St. Peter and St. Paul martyred?
- Why the apostle fast’s period varies every year?