Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Easter: East and West ...

It's not Orthodox or Catholic -- it's Christ! A neat pieace at Zenit.
Easter has been given different dates, but "in reality there is no difference" between the feast celebrated by Catholics and by Orthodox, says a director of religious literature.

Following the Julian calendar, the Orthodox Patriarchate of Moscow celebrated Easter on Sunday, as did other Orthodox Churches, as opposed to the Church of the Latin rite, which celebrated Easter the previous Sunday, as established by the Gregorian calendar.

"Easter cannot be Catholic or Orthodox -- it is Christ's Easter," said Orthodox priest Giorgio Chistyakov, director of religious literature of Russia's State Library of Foreign Literature.

"Christ rose from the dead, and when Christians began to celebrate Easter, the Church was one; there was no divergence between East and West," Father Chistyakov added. "It was another matter when different rites appeared later. That is why today the difference lies only in the way of celebrating it.

"The Byzantine rite took shape around the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. In it, for example, there are prayers sung consecutively that make up a very special part of the Mass. However, the essence of the celebration is the same."

The Orthodox priest continued: "The ancient songs of exaltation are a part of the Office that was kept only in the Western rite. In principle, it is thought that the latter were also found in the Eastern, as is the case of the custom of baptizing during Easter, which is now preserved in the liturgy of the Easter Vigil in the West."
Read on.


assiniboine said...

Eastern Orthodox, that is. The Oriental Orthodox liturgical calendar, of course, corresponds to that of the West except in respect of those observances which occur at a different time or have a different duration. See for example the discussion of the rite corresponding to the Easter Vigil in Indian Orthodoxy (written, as it happens, by a rather good friend of ours, as it happens) at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter_Vigil

Gashwin said...

Mea culpa. I was being a little dramatic myself in the title ... :) Of course the Eastern Catholics follow the ... um ... Western calendar for the celebration of Easter ...

Wow. Our mutual friend is famous! :)