The Norman Transcript


April 26, 2013

Holy Ascension prepares for Pascha

NORMAN — May 5 is the celebration of Pascha for Eastern Orthodox Christians throughout the world.

Pascha, known as Easter for western Christians, is the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. The term “Pascha” comes from the Hebrew “pesah,” a yearling lamb, and for Christians refers to Christ, the Passover lamb.

This year, the dates for western Easter and eastern Pascha are many weeks apart because eastern and western Christians have different methods for determining the date of the most important feast of the church year.

Eastern Orthodox Christians continue to observe the ancient practice established by the First Ecumenical Council of Nicaea in 325 that decreed that the Resurrection would be observed on the first Sunday after the first full moon on or after the vernal equinox.

Additionally, on the Julian calendar, the observance of Pascha always falls after the first day of Unleavened Bread, or Hebrew Passover. In 1582, under Pope Gregory of Rome, the Gregorian calendar was established, which determines the date of Easter for both Roman Catholics and Protestants, without consideration of the date of Passover.

To prepare for the Feast of the Resurrection, the Orthodox Church observes Great Lent, a period of six weeks of prayer and fasting, ending at the close of Lazarus Saturday, which remembers the raising of our Lord’s friend from the dead.

Palm Sunday memorializes Christ’s Triumphal entry into Jerusalem, and will be celebrated on Sunday. Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Great and Holy Week, a time of prayer, fasting and daily worship services leading to the joyous celebration of Pascha. On Sunday, Monday and Tuesday evenings of Holy Week, the church will offer worship in services that honor Christ as the bridegroom of the church.

The Mystery of Holy Unction is celebrated on Holy Wednesday evening, when the faithful are anointed for the healing of soul and body.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Hnsen Luger Kate Hansen still riding the Olympic cloud

    Not many people can say they actually accomplished their lifetime dreams. Even less can say they did it before turning 22....

    March 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Church will host assembly

    First Christian Church Norman will be host to about 300 Oklahoma Christian (Disciples of Christ) member gathering for the biennial assembly May 2 to 3. In the theme of “Growing in Grace,” the assembly will include worship, study, music and ...

    April 25, 2014

  • Lexington High graduate to serve two years for LDS

    Lexington High School graduate Thayne Winterton left April 9 to serve a two-year mission in the California Fresno Mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints....

    April 25, 2014

  • Lebanese Festival planned for two days

    Food, music, dance, culture and traditional home-cooked Lebanese food once again comes together in Norman in the form of Middle Eastern hospitality. The third annual Lebanese Heritage and Food Festival is set for Saturday and Sunday at ...

    April 25, 2014

  • Canonizations big draw to Rome

    ROME — The joint sanctification of popes John Paul II and John XXIII is expected to draw up to 1 million pilgrims and tourists to Rome this weekend, authorities said Wednesday....

    April 24, 2014

  • The Easter journey

    Happy Easter. Perhaps you are thinking the editors of this newspaper made an error and printed a devotional intended for last week. After all, Easter was last Sunday. The echoes of the hymns have faded. The stories of Jesus’ resurrection ...

    April 24, 2014

  • How does one banish bad thoughts?

    Be mindful of your thoughts Lama Chuck Stanford, Rime Buddhist Center: We aren’t able to control the thoughts that arise in our mind any more than we are able to stop breathing. Both are inherent to our humanness....

    April 24, 2014

  • Conference set

    Following a diocesan-sponsored national conference on violence, “Reclaiming the Gospel of Peace,” the Episcopal Church Women of St. John’s Norman will host an Oklahoma diocesan-wide women’s conference and Bishop’s day on April 25-26....

    April 18, 2014

  • Muslim group urges re-education

    LOS ANGELES — Seeking a way to prevent violence like last year’s deadly Boston Marathon bombing, an Islamic advocacy group Monday announced a plan aimed at helping U.S. mosques identify and re-educate radicals....

    April 18, 2014

  • This is ... Friday ...

    It’s Good Friday. Good Friday? What could possibly be “good” about Good Friday? Think about it … this is the day in which the Lord Jesus was beaten and crucified. He hung on a cross between two thieves. Abandoned, betrayed and denied, by ...

    April 17, 2014