The feast of the ascension, which all followers of the Christian faith is celebrated on the fortieth day after Easter Hritova Sunday, timed to coincide with this event the New Testament as the ascent of Jesus Christ to the throne of his Father – the Almighty.
It is believed that on this day Jesus went to Heaven, ending his earthly journey. On the 40th day after his resurrection, he ascended into Heaven in the flesh and gained the Kingdom of heaven. In memory of this event and of the promise of Christ concerning his second coming, it was decided to establish the feast of the ascension. Many religious people believe that Jesus came down to Earth from Heaven to complete a mission and then the salvation of the human race to return to Heaven, reports Rus.Media.
Ascension in 2017 – may 25
When celebrating the Ascension of the Lord, and as the date depends on date of Easter?
The feast of the ascension has no fixed date and is passing a Church holiday. Each year is assigned a new date, which depends on the date of the Great Resurrection of Christ. In 2017, the ascension day will be celebrated on the 40th day after the Christian Passover, i.e. on may 25, reported Ukrainian news.
Interestingly, each year this festival always falls on a Thursday. Here also there is a direct link with the Passover of Christ. After all, the number 40 is not divisible by 7 without a remainder, therefore the day cannot fall on a Sunday or any other day except Thursday.
The ascension in Orthodox Christianity
Until the fourth century the feast was celebrated at Pentecost, but then has established for it a separate day. In the book of books – the gospel can you find a mention of the fact that Jesus, after his resurrection, during the 40 days was on the ground next to the apostles. He told them about the Kingdom of heaven, the Law of God, taught how to preach the Orthodox faith. Also Christ told his disciples how best to tell the laity and to the world about Christianity.
When it came 40 days after his Resurrection, Jesus was with the apostles while in Jerusalem, climbed to the top of the mount of olives. The disciples heard from Jesus last instruction of the righteous. After that, in their eyes, he ascended into Heaven. The students broke out several bows to his teacher and returned to the city. The apostles were not sad, on the contrary, their soul rejoiced and exulted, as they did not perceive this event as a loss. The apostles understood that ascension is by no means the symbol of the break with the Divine, she once again calls upon humanity to inner transformation and getting closer to God by joining in his Kingdom. Also in the gospel says that after the ascension Jesus was able to reunite with his Father. Many religious people told me I always feel his invisible presence on Earth.
After the expiration of 10 days after the ascension, as Jesus said, on Earth the Holy Spirit came. He gave the apostles great spiritual power that they needed to preach Christ’s teachings. Due to the fact that the Holy Spirit appeared to the disciples on the 50th day after Easter, this day became known as Pentecost.
Catholics celebrate the Ascension on the same day as the Christian Church. The only difference is that they begin to celebrate three days before the scheduled date. Days (Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday) prior to the ascension, is called the period of the request. Normally during this period people pray, praise Jesus, his Father and the Holy spirit, asking for their support, protection, health, happiness, rich harvest and favorable weather. In the villages for three days to go festivities are held fairs and singing festivals.
On Ascension day in all Catholic churches held festive Vespers of the Liturgy, in which to hold services and sing songs. The priests wear white robes because white is the symbol of purity and Divine Light. In some churches, the Figure of Jesus through special devices pick up the dome of the building, that represents the fact of his ascension and once again reminds the congregation about the essence of the holiday.
Ascension folk tradition
It has long been believed that for all 40 days, beginning with Easter and ending with the Ascension, the gates of heaven and hell remain open. During this period the souls of the dead righteous are allowed to stay on Earth, and the souls of sinners – not to experience the eternal torments of hell. That is why ascension day and throughout the festive period, the Church encouraged the parishioners to pay special attention to charity. As the strength and capabilities of all believers helped the poor, the disadvantaged, the poor, and flawed. Also helped the disabled and the crippled.
To adhere to Christian tradition, people used to put on the window sills of their homes (street side) of the coin for the poor. At the front door, again from the street entrance, set plates of food, bowls of drinking water and milk. As a rule, food in the bowl put boiled eggs, baked potatoes, corn tortillas. Wealthy families could afford to put in plates of cold pork, boiled beef and slices of lamb sausage.
The tradition of giving alms in the form of food and coins appeared in one ancient legend. It was considered that in the period of the 40 days Christ himself in the image of the poor man wandered through the streets and asked for alms. And if not to help the suffering and the homeless man could bring ruin and misery on yourself and your entire family.
In addition to helping disadvantaged people, many of the faithful made donations to temples needs (construction, rehabilitation, reconstruction). Each man gave as much as he can. After all, the Lord taught: “it’s not the size of donations, and the selfless desire to help, kind and noble thoughts”.
Another famous tradition was the prohibition on the release of garbage outside a private yard. Also in the period after Easter and before ascension day, it was unbecoming to spit anywhere but in his home and the surrounding areas. It was believed that throwing trash or spitting out, you can accidentally get into the Lord, who within a specified period bypasses us.
On the eve of the ascension, namely on 39 day (Wednesday), the Orthodox Church hold a ritual dedicated to the “leavetaking” of Pascha. The next day, be sure to conduct a festive Liturgy, and at the moment when the bells toll, the priests read the part of the gospel is devoted to events of the ascension of Christ.
The day after the ascension (Friday) is also considered to be festive, so the churches held worship with prayer chants.
Customs and rituals the Ascension
It is believed that ascension day, summer fully comes into its own. In honor of the transition of spring to summer during the festive days people lit bonfires, which symbolize the blossoming of nature. Also danced, called “spikelets”.
The Rite “Kamlanie”
The Ascension was conducted an ancient rite “kamlanie” that represented the Union boys, men, women and girls who exchanged his crucifix and call each other Kum. The origins of this rite are drawn from the distant past. Women and men cooked chicken eggs, put them into shards (clay pots) and went into the woods. Found a clearing with birch trees, chose a solitary tree and settled down around him. Sometimes found a certain kind of yarrow, which had a cruciform shape. This plant is often called “cuckoo tears”. People who want to “potamitissa”, hung their crosses on birch or twigs stuck in the ground crosswise above the yarrow. Then people exchanged a triple kiss and varied crosses. Then between them there was an invisible close relationship, who accompanied him throughout his life. “Paramlen” people were considered relatives, but, of course, not blood. They had no right to swear, swore an oath to protect each other and support. During the ceremony, “kumlinge” all the others sang songs, danced, lit bonfires, staged revels. Then people ate brought in a clay pot boiled eggs and returned to the village.
Arriving at the village, people continued celebrations, had fun, sang, danced, played games, ate treats. After a few days, “paramlen” men and women have started the second part of this rite. They went to the grove, where was held the first part of the ceremony, and “raskalyvanii” that is returned to each other the crosses. The rest of the day spent having fun, swimming in the river, singing sand, and dancing.
What to prepare for Ascension
On the morning of Christ’s ascension, people went to Church, prayed, took communion, confessed, took part in the worship. After that, they returned home. The evening was taken to gather the whole family at the big holiday table. The table setting also had elements of the rites.
One of the main dishes on the Ascension was the pancakes, which are affectionately called “lipotomy” or “lapotochki”. Besides pancakes women baked oblong biscuits with cinnamon and powdered sugar, and pies with various fillings. Special edible symbol of the holiday table was bread, baked in the shape of footwear (sandals, shoes, boots). It was believed that the Lord, during his stay on Earth, bypassing the Russian villages completely wiped out his shoes. Therefore, it is necessary to present “new thing” is to bake a new pair of shoes or sandals.
Edible mandatory attribute of the holiday table was considered and the cakes which were baked in the shape of ladders (lactic, Lastovo). Yeast or unleavened dough rascacielos on the table, then from it cut strips and rolled them into tubes. Then, the resulting tubes were laid on a baking sheet. The dish had to be sure to buy “pure soul” – the foolish, the sick, the poor, young children. Cakes in the form of a ladder carried a special symbolism. It was believed that with the help of these bakery products to the righteous easier to get in the gate that leads to heaven.
People who live in some Russian towns, it has provided lots the ladder and to a different value. They believed that, by placing a few ladders at the corners of his fields or garden, they will be able to collect a rich harvest. The ladder acted as a protector of the land, which helped wheat and other crops to take hold, reach for the Sky, grow faster and to sing. Prerequisite: stairs located in the corners of the field, must reside exclusively in a standing position, as if pointing the way to heaven. To conduct this ceremony was necessary in the early morning, preferably just after sunrise, so that nobody could observe the process. Otherwise, the bad looks could cause irreparable harm to the crop, for example, to jinx it or intentionally impose on the fertile lands of black magic. The conduct of the ritual was usually done by women – the mistress of the house. After they hid in the tall grass of the ladder, putting them upright, uttered a few prayers. His pleas women asked Christ about a rich harvest, high spike and the prosperity of his family. Prayers were said aloud, standing with face towards the rising sun.
The Rite “Sestina”
As the name implies, the ritual was performed only by young girls or married women who wanted to become laotong each other. Early in the morning on a holiday they went to the forest glade. A girls take pellet (bread in the form of braided circles), boiled chicken eggs and small Hanks of thread. The thread was supposed to be wypadanie it on Maundy Thursday – on one of the days of Holy week.
In the woods the girls were divided into pairs. Each pair of stripped birch three thin branches. Together, the girls wove from birch twigs braid, weaving it into her colored ribbon. As a rule, the color of the ribbon was red, yellow or green. Red is a symbol of the sun, yellow – sunlight, green young grass, trees and other plants. Both ends of the makeshift braids tied brought Chetvergova thread. The resulting product was called “matushkas”. Next, each pair wove exactly the same “matushki”, but are appointed for their relatives. Moreover, the number of products must correspond to the number of relatives.
For male relatives “motoski” trailed not in the form of braids, and in the form of the Corolla. After that, the pair stood in the center of the circle and in unison uttered these words: “Native cuckoo, help save Matushka”. Then the girls who become “sisters” exchanged brought cakes and eggs. Then they returned to their native village under the cheerful song.
This ceremony was continued, the second part was conducted on the Trinity. After Breakfast, the girls gathered the same team and went to the forest. There they thanked the cuckoo, which helped them to keep “motoski” and asked the bird about the true prediction of the future. After a while the girls went to the river, taking with him “motoski” which threw the water in the direction of flow.
However, the interpretation of the results of this prediction differed from the traditional interpretations in such divination. So, if the “Matushka” sank, so soon girls will appear a candidate for the role of husband. A married woman is foreshadowed a long and happy life with her husband. If the “Matushka” sailed smoothly, and on her way there were no obstacles, this year nothing bad will happen. If there were obstacles, then, shaken health, and you are in trouble.
National signs and beliefs in the Rapture
If within 40 days (from Easter to ascension) to help the poor and feed the needy, the year will not only be rich in crops, but successful in all aspects: the good health of family, harmonious relationship with a life partner, a strong financial position.
All the mistress on the eve of the ascension ritual baked pastries. If in the process of baking pies or cookies was a small part of the test, which is not enough for a full pie (biscuits), then in the course of the year we can expect replenishment in the family. Girl get pregnant.
Popular in Russia were signs on birch twigs. Birch branches are very thin, flexible and pliable. When an unmarried girl wanted to know if they are destined to get married this year, they tore the three branches and braided them into a braid. If the braid was held tight, didn’t hit remains flat, it means that the wedding is not far off. If the braid was undone, the girl destined to sit “on the shelf” until the next ascension.
Birch could tell not only about marriage, but also helped to predict what to expect in the future a person who is suffering serious illness. The relatives of the patient broke 10 birch twigs, brought home, put into a vessel. If within 10 days (before Trinity) twigs remained fresh and green, it means that a relative will be able to overcome his illness, but if the branches withered him to recover will not succeed.
Night on the eve of the ascension was called the Nightingale, as the Nightingale and other birds in this period were singing especially loud, melodiously and loudly. As if they were praising Jesus, calling people to do the same.
To increase the yield of crops people have tried by decorating the surrounding area of their land (orchards, fields) young birches. Trees digged in the earth around the perimeter of the field and left until harvest.
To honor their ancestors in day of the ascension of Christ is a good sign for all family members. It was believed that memories of their dead relatives on this holiday will definitely help protect from them. In honor of the ancestors Housewives cook scrambled eggs and baked sweet pancakes.
If the Ascension of the whole day is raining, unfortunately, the year will be fruitful. But if the rain stops for the next 3 days, yield losses are not as significant.
In ancient times, all girls wore long hair, which at night was braided into a tight braid (braids). If in the morning on Ascension day the girl noticed that the braid during sleep badly messed up or fell apart, soon she will be the matchmaking.
The breed of cattle in Pets, ascension day, is a favorable sign. This means that the family will live in prosperity and harmony.
Ascension – the day that symbolizes the invisible border between spring and summer. That is why this feast is the opening of the bathing season. Starting Thursday, you can safely swim in all water bodies.
If in the night from Wednesday to Thursday (Ascension) from the hostess for unknown reasons, the milk sour, which is stored in appropriate conditions and all the rules, then you need to pay attention to the condition, as well as all households. It is important not SuperCool, not to overeat, regularly perform righteous deeds and acts of mercy.
Identifying the day of the ascension on the roof of the house or underneath the nests of birds predicts the imminent inheritance. But if a family has a girl “marriageable,” soon it will him marry a wealthy groom, which will bring the young women into his spacious home.
On the eve of the holiday it is customary to carry out General cleaning of the housing and the infield. People believed that their well-kept house and yard perebranny will honor his attention to Jesus, who at this period passes all the Russian Land.
When people went to Church, took a cookie in the shape of ladders, and pies with onions and other toppings. Pastries, always been consecrated. It was believed that the consecration of the products is a tribute to an event such as the Resurrection of the Lord. Ritual bread symbolized the way to Heaven. That is why it should have an oval shape, embodying the way of Jesus to his Father. Part baking people left in the Church.
Throw yard waste collected in the house or on the plot, means that man has no respect for Christ, allowing him to get into this rubbish. Jesus at the day of celebration continues his earthly journey on roads of the Russian.
What can I do for Ascension?
- To honor the memory of ancestors. To pray, to praise Jesus and his Father (to send to Heaven their prayers not only in Church but also at home).
- To be in the circle of his family. Think about good things.
- To help all the suffering people (a fool, a beggar, crippled, defective).
- To make optimistic forecasts for the future.
- To please their relatives with gifts.
- Ask Christ about the fulfillment of your dreams through sincere prayer. It is believed that on this day Jesus available to all people.
What not to do on the day of ascension?
So Jesus was merciful, always around to help, protecting your family, you need to spend a holiday:
- no cussing;
- don’t ignore the opportunity to do charity work, helping the disadvantaged and the poor;
- not to swear and not to find out relations with anyone;
- not to do some work around the house. This refers to washing and Ironing clothes, sweeping and washing floors, collecting dust, construction of outbuildings, wells, mending and sewing clothes;
- not to gossip;
- not to say the phrase “Christ is Risen” and “Truly he is Risen”, as in the day of ascension, the Shroud is carried outside of the temples;
- not to blaspheme
- to prevent negative thoughts and not to fall into despair.
At the Rapture all believers remember how Christ lived, helping people, rose again and pointed the way to the Kingdom of heaven. Because the road to Heaven is a symbol of people’s hope for the atonement of sin and the eternal existence of the soul. The feast of the ascension of Christ allows believers to come to the understanding that death is not the end but only the beginning of a great and light way to God and eternal life.