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HOLY EASTER 2014

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Christian Easter Feast represents the holy festival celebrating the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. The written testimonials of the Bible concerning the sacred event are resumed in the Christian Creed through the words: “And arose again on the third day according to the Scriptures”. The third day following the putting of the body into the grave was on a Sunday; thus, Christians are always celebrating Easter on a Sunday.

The name of Easter (“Pasti”) comes from the Hebrew word “Pesah” which means Passover. During the life of Jesus and before, Jews had been celebrating Easter for more than one thousand five hundred years in order to commemorate the liberation from the Egyptian slavery, after crossing the Red Sea.

The victory over death through the Lord’s Resurrection changed the meaning of this holiday for the Christian people. Ever since that moment, it related to the holy event of Resurrection and its consequences, namely our passage from death to life.

The date of Easter was established at the First Council of Nicaea, in 325, as the first Sunday after the full moon, following the spring equinox occurs and after the Jewish Easter.

Christian Easter is different from the old Jewish Easter, representing the Day of Christ’s Resurrection, which took place after the Jewish Easter holiday.

Our holy Church has taken into account in establishing the date of Easter that the Feast of the Resurrection should always start on a Sunday, lasting for three days, which reflects the importance of this event for the life of the Church.

Christian Easter holiday never starts before the spring equinox, more precisely the 3rd of April (according to the New Style calendar), being celebrated only after this day.

Likewise, the calculation of the date, together with astronomical observations have led to a strict rule: Easter can be celebrated on the 4th of April at the earliest, and on the 8th of May at the latest (according to the New Style calendar).

The Feast of Easter is the foundation on which Christianity was built, Christ’s Resurrection being its milestone.

The liturgical service which characterizes the Easter Feast surpasses the brilliance and significances which define all the other services of the church year. The priests’ garments are bright, churches are fully-lit and all the curtains and liturgical coverings are white.

To this is added the extra light from the candles carried by the faithful attending the religious service, lit of the torch carried by the priest before the holy altar at the beginning of the service of Easter night.

The beautiful Paschal troparion: “Christ is risen from the dead, /Trampling down death by death, / And upon those in the tombs / Bestowing life!” is complemented with the Christian greeting uttered by the priest at various times during the Easter services: “Christ is Risen!”, a moment when, in a soulful communion, everyone present at the liturgy responds in unison: “Truly, He is risen!”.

This feeling of joy is also accentuated by all the other songs and readings from the three days of celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The Antidoron (or sacramental bread) distributed to the faithful on the Easter day is called “Pascha”. The same signification is assigned to the Easter bagel. The Holy Communion in the form of the bread is blessed by the priests during the service in the night of the Resurrection and symbolizes the certainty of the resurrection of the dead, based on the Lord’s Resurrection. In addition to these, the Easter feast is also marked by all the other church services and popular traditions associated with Christ’s Resurrection, a period of celebration which continues, after the three specific days of the holiday, on the Holy Week and all along the 40-day period, ending with the Feast of the Ascension.

The postage stamp of the issue Holy Easter 2014, introduced into circulation by Romfilatelia, illustrates the scene of Christ’s Resurrection.

With the Holy Easter Holiday approaching, Romfilatelia team wishes you serene thoughts, peace in your hearts and hope of a better future.

Christ is Risen!

We thank the management of Hurezi Monastery and the Romanian Patriarchy for the support granted in the accomplishment of this postage stamps issue.

Issue date: 2014-03-20

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