THE GLORIOUS EASTER SEASON SOON COMES TO AN END

May 6, 2018

WHAT'S ON YOUR ALTAR!?

SPOT THE DIFFERENCES! There are eight (8) significant differences between the two photos. Can you spot them? [Check the list at the bottom of the pictures]

[The differences… the asterix (star) in the discos is different; there are less prosphora particles on the discos; the discos veil (on the left) is a different style; the lance and the spoon are reversed; the image on the cross behind the Altar (Resurrection/Crucifixion); the blue candles are shifted; the sluzhebnyk (altar book) in open to a different page; and… the big one… the shroud (plashchanytsja) on the Altar.]

According to the 1992 edition of the Typicon of the Servant of God, Fr. Isidore Dol'nyc'kyj (the saintly Spiritual Director of the Lviv Seminary +1924), a common practice in many churches is that the Plashchanytsja (shroud) is taken from the 'tomb' to the sanctuary just prior to Resurrection Matins on Easter Sunday morning. It is carried by the priest to the sanctuary where it is placed upon the Altar and the iliton and Gospel are placed upon it and up to the eve of the Ascension, the Divine Liturgy is celebrated upon the shroud. "Other churches", he writes, place the shroud on the Altar for one week and then hang it behind the Altar. (Fr. Dolnytsky seems to favour the latter practice so that the shrouds are not damaged. The plashchynytsja is often an amazing work of true - and even rare - art that has been preserved in some churches for centuries.)(Типик Української Католицької Церкви, Rome: Basilian Fathers Press, 1992, p. 406)

But why is the Plashchanytsja placed on the Altar? What is the significance? Why is it removed on the Wednesday before the feast of the Ascension? Well, the explanation is simply that it reminds us symbolically of the fact that Jesus remained with us upon the earth for 40 days before He ascended into heaven. So, as Fr. Julian Katrij explains - we leave the holy shroud in the most sacred place of the church - on the Altar, before the tabernacle, for 40 days. When and how, exactly, is it removed? It remains on the Altar until Wednesday, i.e. the "eve" of or day-before Ascension Thursday (this year that is May 9th "nc" or May 17th "oc"). The common practice is that at the close of the Divine Liturgy on Wednesday - after Christ is Risen! Христос Воскрес! is sung for the last time that year - the priest who is the main celebrant, removes it, perhaps blesses the congregation with the holy image, then takes it to the place where it is kept throughout the year.

Don't forget!.... 'MISSION DAYS' also begin on the Ascension this year!

On the feast of the Ascension Winnipeg gathers of the 'MARCH FOR LIFE'!


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