A daily study of the Network’s diverse faiths

Leavetaking of Pascha (Apodosis, giving-back, Afterfeast). Orthodox celebration for Christians of the Byzantine tradition of the end of the Paschal period, on the vigil eve of the Feast of the Ascension on 10 June, the services beginning with the chanting of the troparion of Pascha: “Christ is risen…”. Each major Feast on the Church calendar has an Apodosis that may come at the end of an octave of 8 days, but in this case it is 38 days after the 2 May Pascha. The hymns for Matins, the Hours, Vespers, Compline and the Divine Liturgy are repeated as on the first day of the Feast. This Apodosis is on a Wednesday, a fast day when the faithful are advised to avoid meat, milk and dairy products. After today, the faithful cease chanting the Paschal troparion: “Christ is Risen…” and this is the last day for rejoicing, in a way that will not be seen until next year, in the pure Paschal joy of the presence of the Risen Lord before his Ascension. For the next 9 days, with an air of waiting, a silence hovers over the Church’s liturgy but there is still a certain Pascal joy and expectation for Pentecost. Image: austroca.org.

Prayer Χριστὸς ἀνέστη ἐκ νεκρῶν, θανάτῳ θάνατον πατήσας, καὶ τοῖς ἐν τοῖς μνήμασι, ζωὴν χαρισάμενος! Christós anésti ek nekrón, thanáto thánaton patísas, ké tís en tís mnímasi, zoín charisámenos! Christ is risen from the dead, by death trampling death, and to those in the tombs granting life! May we too be granted eternal life. Amen

St Ephrem (Ephrem of Syria, of Edessa, Aprem of Nisibis, Ephraem Syrus, herdsman, ܥܠܢܐ) (bc306-73). Roman Catholic Feast Day and Church of England commemoration of the death of Turkish Christian deacon and teacher (malp̄ānâ) of the faith born in Nisibis (Nusaybin), who is revered as one of the most notable hymnographers of Eastern Christianity. Ephrem was baptised as a youth and became a son of the covenant, a form of Syriac proto-monasticism, and is credited as the founder of the School of Nisibis, which, in later centuries, was the centre of learning of the Church of the East. A series of Persian attacks in Roman North Mesopotamia led to Nisibis being besieged in 338, 346 and 350 and Ephrem celebrated what he saw as the miraculous salvation of the city in a hymn that portrayed Nisibis as being like Noah’s Ark, floating to safety on the flood but a 363 attack led to the surrender to Persia and the expulsion of the entire Christian population. Ephrem then settled in Edessa (Urhay) and he applied himself to the ministry in his new church, teaching and writing hymns defending Nicene orthodoxy, over 400 hymns composed by Ephrem still existing. Syriac churches still use many of Ephrem’s hymns as part of the annual cycle of worship, although most have been edited and conflated. Soon after Ephrem’s death, legendary accounts of his life began to circulate and he is venerated as an early example of monastic discipline in Eastern Christianity and in the Eastern Orthodox Church as a Venerable Father (sainted monk). In 1920, he was proclaimed Doctor of the Church (Doctor of the Syrians) in the Roman Catholic Church. Venerated in all traditional Churches and especially revered in Syriac Christianity, both in the East and the West Syriac traditions. Roman Catholic Extraordinary Form Feast Day 18 June. Feast Day 10 June Episcopal Church (USA). Orthodox Feast Days 28 January and on the Saturday of the Venerable Fathers (Cheesefare Saturday), the Saturday before the beginning of Great Lent. Image: youtube.com.

St Aidan of Lindisfarne (AedánNaomh Aodhán, Apostle of Northumbria) (c590-651). Lutheran Commemoration of Irish monk, Bishop, aesthetic and missionary credited with converting the Northumbrian Anglo-Saxons to Celtic Christianity. Christianity had been propagated throughout Britain, but not Ireland, by the Romans but was being displaced by Anglo-Saxon paganism. Aidan founded a monastic Cathedral on the island of Lindisfarne, known as Lindisfarne Priory, served as its first Bishop and travelled ceaselessly throughout the countryside, spreading the gospel to both the Anglo-Saxon nobility and the socially disenfranchised, including children and slaves. Venerated in Eastern Orthodox, Catholic Churches, Anglican Communion and other churches. Feast Day 31 August. Patron of Northumbria, firefighters. Image: orthochristian.com.