The church fathers say that the Ascension Feast is the crown of all feasts in the church, as the Lord Jesus Christ ascended into the heaven and fulfilled the Divine measure of salvation after 40 days of His resurrection (Luke 24:51) & (Acts 1:1-11).
According to the Deskolia (book of apostles’ teaching), the Church celebrates the Feast of Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ who sits at the right hand of His Father by counting forty days from the first Friday (i.e. Good Friday) till fifth Thursday. Do not work on this day as His Divine plan for Salvation has been complete.
Celebrating Ascension Feast give us hope that one day our Lord Jesus Christ will come again to take us to live with Him in His kingdom. (Mathew 16:27; Acts 1:11)
Ascension Feast holy liturgy rites:
- The offering of vespers & morning incense: the deacons chant the verses of cymbals for ascension feast, the doxology of ascension, psalm and gospel responses of ascension feast.
- Divine Liturgy: deacons chant the praxis response for the feast and after the praxis reading the deacons chant (Afreak Etveah…He bowed heaven down and descended, and a cloud was under His feet….May the heavens rejoice, may the earth be glad; may all groups of the Orthodox faith rejoice. For Christ the only begotten God, has ascended into the heavens…)
- The procession: Deacons chant (“Ekhrestoc Anesty” and “Bekhrestos Analemebsis”… Christ has ascended into heaven and sent the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, bestowing life to our souls) in the alter only referring to the ascension of Christ to heaven.
- Trisagion Hymn: add the part of “and ascended into the heavens” have mercy on us.
Pentecost Feast (Fiftieth day) is one of the greatest feasts of the Christians.
Lord Jesus Christ told His disciples “Behold, I will send you the promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with the power from on high.” (Luke 24: 49).
The book of Acts chapter 2 explains what happened on the day of Pentecost. The Apostles used to celebrate Pentecost feast (Acts 18:21; Acts 2:16 and 1 Cor 16:7-8)
Pentecost Feast Holy Liturgy Rites:
- The offering of vespers incense: deacons chant the doxology of Pentecost.
- The offering of morning incense: After Abouna prays “Efnouti Nai Nan” Deacons chant “Ekhrestos Anesty”, “Bekhrestos Analemebsis”, and “Bekhrestos Aftonf”. The procession is inside the alter. The psalm and gospel responses according to the Pentecost feast.
- Divine Liturgy: Only the psalms and gospel of the third hour of Agpeya is prayed.
- After praxis reading, Abouna prays the litanies of the third hour then the deacons pray the hymn of “Bi- Ebnevma”.
- No Synaxarium reading same as the forty days.
Rites of the Prostration Prayers
- Is prayed at the ninth hour of the day of Sunday (Fiftieth day since Resurrection)
- Is composed of three prayers
- The first and second prayers are prayed in the second chorus of the church
- The third prayer is prayed in the first chorus with the veil of the sanctuary opened.
- The first prayer is prayed in a joyful tune
- The second prayer is prayed in a joyful tune until the reading of the Gospel; the Gospel response, the rest of the prayer and the third prayer are prayed in the standard tune (annual tune)
- During the prayers, a clay pot is placed in the second chorus of the church and filled with coal and incense, commemorating the souls of the saints who have departed
Think about it:
- Why the procession is only in the alter during the 10 days until feast of Pentecost?
- When do we switch to praying the annual tune instead of joyful one during prostration prayers?
- Write a verse showing that the apostles celebrated the feast of the Pentecost.