Reading Scripture in the Orthodox Church: The Festal Cycle

Stay tuned for the second part of Reading Scripture in the Orthodox Church!

This volume of the series by Doru Costache explores the scriptural readings prescribed for the annual festal cycle.

AIOCS Press will publish the book in late April with the generous support of the Australian Research Theology Foundation Inc.

Cover design and layout by Ion Nedelcu.

ISBN 9780648440116 (paperback)

From the Preface

Continuing the first part of this project, where I reflected upon the scriptural readings prescribed for the liturgies of the Sunday cycle, herein I consider the significance of the passages read for the liturgies of the major festivals in the Eastern Orthodox tradition.

I observe the same approach, that is, by summarising the two prescribed texts, from the Apostle and the Gospel books, then by pondering their common message against the backdrop of the respective festivals, followed by a brief sentence meant to capture the wisdom of the readings, and five keywords. I work with the same assumption, which I discussed in the previous volume of the series, namely, that the two readings are not gathered at random and that, in fact, they had been chosen because they convey a common wisdom. This is a very profitable way of looking at the pedagogical dimension of the festal cycle. The festivals of the Church are not what we usually call “worship,” they rather are part of a complex, ongoing catechism, which every year reminds God’s people of the basics of its faith and way of life.

Contents

Preface

Part One

Festivals of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ

Sunday of the Holy Ancestors of the Lord

The Forefeast of Christmas and Saint Ignatius the God-bearer

Saturday before Christmas

Sunday before Christmas

The Eve of Christmas

Christmas: The Liturgy of Christ’s Birth

The Second Day of Christmas

The Third Day of Christmas

Saturday after Christmas

Sunday after Christmas

Christ’s Circumcision: Celebrating the Name of the Lord

The Forefeast of Theophany and Saint Sylvester of Rome

Saturday before Theophany

Sunday before Theophany

The Eve of Theophany

Theophany: The Lord’s Manifestation

Gathering for Saint John the Baptist

Saturday after Theophany

Sunday after Theophany

The Presentation of the Lord

The Conception of the Lord, or Annunciation

Saturday of Lazarus

Palm Sunday

The Mystical Supper

The Paschal Vigil

The First Paschal Sunday: Resurrection

The Lord’s Ascension

The Eighth Paschal Sunday: Pentecost

The Lord’s Transfiguration

Part Two

Festivals of the Virgin Mother

The Birth of the Lady

The Entry of the Virgin Lady in the Temple

The Dormition of the Lady

Part Three

Festivals of the Holy Cross

Saturday before the Elevation of the Holy Cross

Sunday before the Elevation of the Holy Cross

The Elevation of the Holy Cross

Saturday after the Elevation of the Holy Cross

Sunday after the Elevation of the Holy Cross

The Third Lenten Sunday

Bibliography

Index

About the Author