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Here are the 12 “Great Feasts” that Eastern Christians celebrate each year

CHRIST,BAPTISM,RIVER,ICON

Ted | CC BY SA 2.0

Philip Kosloski - published on 11/21/19

You may be surprised which feasts are the greatest in the Eastern Christian liturgical calendar.

While Eastern and Western Christians share many of the same liturgical feasts, there do exist many differences in how these feasts are celebrated.

In many Orthodox and Byzantine churches there are 12 “Great Feasts” of the liturgical year, and these feasts are given greater importance than the rest. However, there is one feast that is not included in this list, as it is the “Feast of Feasts” and is in a category of its own.

That would be the Pascha, more commonly known as the Resurrection of Jesus Christ or simply “Easter.” The Easter celebration stands outside of these 12 feasts as it is the principal feast of the entire year.

Among these feasts, eight are dedicated to Jesus Christ, and four are in honor of the Virgin Mary. These feasts have a long history among Eastern Christians and generally date to the first few centuries of Christianity.

Here is a slideshow of these Great Feasts, including images that correspond to each of the feasts.


CONFESSION

Read more:
How the rite of confession is different in the Byzantine tradition


THEOTOKOS UNBURNT BUSH

Read more:
In Orthodox iconography, the Virgin Mary is also the Burning Bush

Tags:
Devotions and FeastsLiturgy
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