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Paschal offices, Byzantine rite


Subject Religion » Christianity

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631232032.2001.x


The Byzantine offices of the Resurrection begin with the ancient great Paschal vigil, consisting of Vespers followed by the Divine Liturgy ( see prote anastasis ). After the liturgy there should be a blessing of bread and wine, but not oil, these being distributed with dried fruit to all who remain in church while the Acts of the Apostles is read continuously until the mesonyktikon begins. This reflects an older practice when the vigil took place in the evening. In most places today the Prote Anastasis takes place on Saturday morning and the Mesonyktikon about an hour before midnight, though in some places some of Acts and the sermon of epiphanios of salamis are read before the office. Towards midnight all the lights are extinguished and the priest comes from the altar with a triple candle, from which all light their candles. The whole assembly then processes around the church, or to a place prepared for the proclamation of the Resurrection. The procession represents the myrrh-bearing women coming to the tomb. In Greek use it is now customary to read one of the Resurrection gospels before the proclamation that ‘Christ has risen from the dead’, though older editions of the pentekostarion do not prescribe this; since the people are re-enacting the discovery of the empty tomb and hearing the Resurrection proclaimed, the gospel reading is redundant. After the proclamation the ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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