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Orthodox Holy Week

Embrace Orthodox Holy Week; a time for prayer, reflection, and spiritual growth, as we follow in the steps of Jesus Christ's passion and resurrection.
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Category
Religious
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When it is?
March 24
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Country
United States
Introduction

Mark your calendars for March 24, as we lean into the solemn and yet deeply beautiful Orthodox Holy Week. It is a profoundly spiritual journey that traces the last week of Jesus Christ's earthly life, culminating in His resurrection. The origin of this sanctified week can be traced back to as early as the 3rd century, where it was toasted as a 'Great Week' in Jerusalem due to its rich piety and religious reflection. This meaningful week is an invitation to all who seek to rekindle their faith, connect with their spiritual roots and commemorate the passion of Christ. Now, let's delve deeper into this sacred week and join in the millennia-old tradition of remembrance and celebration.

History of Orthodox Holy Week

Orthodox Holy Week Dates

Orthodox Holy Week Timeline

<div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>3rd Century</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Birth of Holy Week</div><div class='timeline-text'>Orthodox Holy week was first celebrated in Jerusalem as 'Great Week', inviting people for religious reflection and deep piety.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>326 AD</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Constantine's Contribution</div><div class='timeline-text'>Emperor Constantine of Byzantine allowed church services to be held during business hours, allowing more people to participate in Holy Week.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>381 AD</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>First Ecumenical Council Decision</div><div class='timeline-text'>The Council of Constantinople confirms the observation of Holy Week to be followed throughout all Christian churches.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>7th Century</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Full Holy Week Liturgy</div><div class='timeline-text'>By the 7th century, a complete liturgical system was fully adopted for Holy Week in Jerusalem. This became the model for all Orthodox Churches.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1453</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Fall of Constantinople</div><div class='timeline-text'>Despite the fall of Constantinople, Orthodox Holy Week continued to be observed in Eastern Orthodox communities worldwide.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>21st Century</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Modern Observance</div><div class='timeline-text'>In contemporary times, Orthodox Holy Week has been recognised and is celebrated globally in remembrance of the passion, death, burial and resurrection of Christ.</div></div></div>

How to Celebrate Orthodox Holy Week

<div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-header'><h3 class='facts-number'>1</h3></div><div class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 class='facts-title'>Participate in special services</h3><p class='facts-text'>Every day of this holy week offers a special service within the Orthodox church. Participate in as many services as you can, remembering the significance of each day and the sacrifices made by Christ.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-header'><h3 class='facts-number'>2</h3></div><div class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 class='facts-title'>Reflect on scripture readings</h3><p class='facts-text'>Engage with the Bible and read through the New Testament accounts of Christ's passion, death, and resurrection. Reflect upon these scriptures, taking time each day to meditate on their meanings and implications in your life.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-header'><h3 class='facts-number'>3</h3></div><div class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 class='facts-title'>Donate to charities</h3><p class='facts-text'>Donate to charities that reflect the teachings and love demonstrated by Christ. Consider supporting those that provide for individuals or communities in need, as this is an act of love and kindness in tribute to the passion of Christ.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-header'><h3 class='facts-number'>4</h3></div><div class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 class='facts-title'>Engage in personal prayer</h3><p class='facts-text'>Set aside quiet moments each day for personal prayer. Prayer is an essential part of Orthodox Holy Week, where believers commune with God and refocus their hearts and minds on Him.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-header'><h3 class='facts-number'>5</h3></div><div class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 class='facts-title'>Fellowship with fellow believers</h3><p class='facts-text'>Reach out to friends, family members, or individuals in your church community to remember and celebrate Orthodox Holy Week together. Share meals, read scripture, discuss the relevance of the week, and pray together. This shared experience can strengthen your faith and provide support along this spiritual journey.</p></div></div>

Why Orthodox Holy Week is Important

<div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>A</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>It allows for spiritual growth</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>Orthodox Holy Week is a profound time for those of Christian faith to engage in prayer, meditation, and reflection. These activities allow us to grow spiritually and develop a deeper connection with God as we remember the significance and sacrifices made by Jesus Christ.</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>B</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>It connects us with our religious roots</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>The tradition of Orthodox Holy Week dates back centuries and carries rich historical significance. As we follow this sacred journey, we're able to connect more closely with our spiritual heritage, deepening our understanding and appreciation for our faith.</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>C</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>It encourages acts of love and kindness</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>Throughout Orthodox Holy Week, we're encouraged to demonstrate the teachings of Christ through acts of love, generosity, and kindness. Whether it's through community service, giving to charities, or simple acts of kindness towards others, these actions serve as a powerful reminder of the love Jesus Christ demonstrated for mankind.</p></div></div>

5 Enlightening Facts about Orthodox Holy Week

<div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>1</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Orthodox Holy Week Observances Vary By Country</h3><p class='facts-content'>Though primarily observed by Eastern Orthodox Christians around the world, specific rituals, traditions, and customs can vary based on local and cultural practices.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>2</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>The Icon of Christ in the Tomb is a Central Symbol</h3><p class='facts-content'>The 'Epitaphios' or the 'Plaschanitsa', which is a richly embroidered cloth, depicting Christ prepared for burial, becomes a significant devotional centerpiece in Orthodox Churches during Holy Week.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>3</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Lazarus Saturday Commemorates a Significant Miracle</h3><p class='facts-content'>Orthodox Holy Week starts with Lazarus Saturday, celebrating the miracle of Jesus Christ resurrecting Lazarus from the dead - this miracle is seen as a foreshadowing of His own Resurrection.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>4</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>The Midnight Divine Liturgy is Illuminated by Candlelight</h3><p class='facts-content'>The 'midnight office' on Pascha (Easter) sees the entire church bathed in darkness, symbolizing the despair and deep sorrow that followers of Jesus experienced when He was crucified. The atmosphere changes dramatically when Christ's resurrection is announced, and the church becomes illuminated by candlelight.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>5</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Orthodox Easter is usually celebrated on a different date</h3><p class='facts-content'>Due to differences in the Western Gregorian and the Eastern Julian calendars, Orthodox Easter (Pascha) usually falls on a different date than Western Easter.</p></div></div>

Orthodox Holy Week FAQs

Orthodox Holy Week Dates

Year
Date
Day

2023

2024

2025

2026

2027

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