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feast days of saints


Subject Religion » Christianity

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631232032.2001.x


Saints' days are an important element of the ecclesiastical year. The Byzantine rite menaia contain texts for the feasts generally celebrated on each date in the calendar . The General Menaia contains texts for the feasts of various categories of saints: martyrs, women martyrs, priest martyrs, hierarchs, ascetics, etc. Texts for the akolouthia of an individual saint not contained in the Menaia are frequently printed as pamphlets ( phyllada ), which often contain texts for the most important celebrations in a particular community. In communities where a particular saint is specially honoured, Vespers, Matins and the Divine Liturgy will be celebrated, the whole akolouthia of the saint may be sung, and bread, wine and kollyba blessed. Processions may be held and the icon and relics of the saint publicly venerated. A festive meal, often accompanied by dancing, may follow the religious observances. Such celebrations are often preceded by fasts and accompanied by festivals ( panegyria ), which can be of national significance, such as the ancient celebrations in Thessaloniki of great martyr Demetrios myroblytes on 26 October. Every day numerous saints are commemorated. Most feasts have fixed dates; others are associated with the Paschal cycle. There are national and regional variations in the pattern of feasts observed in honour of even the ‘universal’ saints. It is common ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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