The Feast of the Ascension: when is it celebrated and what does it mean for Christians?
Many of us consider ourselves to be OrthodoxChristians. At the same time, most people still have a very vague idea about the details, the history of the formation and the significance of the most important holidays of Christians. It's time to restore the gaps in our knowledge and to understand why the Church holiday Ascension is so important for the vast majority of believers.
When this significant event is celebrated
A great many eyewitnesses do not leave a shadowdoubts that forty days after his resurrection, Jesus Christ, being in the flesh, ascended to heaven to God the Father and sat on the right hand of the Creator. According to historians, the Ascension Day was celebrated separately only in the fourth century AD. Until this time, this event was honored on the fiftieth day after the onset of Easter, the day when the Holy Spirit fell upon the apostles. In the place where Christ ascended to God the Father, Queen Helena erected a temple in honor of this event. And until now this shrine, standing on the Mount of Olives, inspires believers with the great joy and hope that the Savior gave us. Till now in it there is a stone print of foot of the Christ - this relic can be seen with own eyes. At about the same time (IV century AD), the Church decided to devote a separate day to this event, and the Ascension holiday began to be celebrated on the 40th day after Easter. Hundred centuries passed, some states disappeared from the face of the Earth, and this tradition has remained unchanged to this day and is still one of the most revered in the Christian world. We add that the festival of the Ascension of the Lord of 2013 took place on June 13, and in 2014 this day will be celebrated on May 29.
What the New Testament says
This historical fact is described in detail inThe Holy Scriptures of Luke (chap. 24, verse 50-51) and in the book on the deeds of St. Apostles (chapter 1, verse 9-11). The brief essence of this event is set forth in the Gospel of Mark (Ch. 16, art. 19). The Feast of the Resurrection reminds us every year of the days when Jesus, having overcome Death, repeatedly appeared to the future apostles, so that they could make sure of the truth of his bodily resurrection. In his words he prepared them for the acceptance of the Holy Spirit, and his presence strengthened their faith more and more. Finally, the moment came when Jesus brought his disciples to the Mount of Olives in Bethany. There he gave them his blessing, and then, raising his hands, gradually began to move away and rise to the sky. According to the description of this event in the Acts of St. Apostles, in the end, Christ disappeared behind the clouds, and then two angels appeared, who announced to the disciples about his Second Coming. With this joyful message, the apostles returned to Jerusalem, where, by the event of ten days, their hearts were filled with the Holy Spirit.
The Feast of Resurrection: Traditions and Reasons for Joy
Since this day is entirely devoted to ourLord, the priests wear exclusively white clothes during the service. This is the symbol of the Divine Light that Jesus brought to our world. On this day it is forbidden to engage in any difficult and black deeds. It is best to spend it in a quiet circle with your loved ones and relatives. The Feast of the Ascension enables people to feel great joy from the fact that the Lord accomplished a great feat - he was able to defeat death, and now our souls will be able to rise again. Thanks to him, heaven is eternal and a new home is always open to man. Ascending to the Father, Christ not only did not leave the Earth, but he became even closer to us. Having set a great example, he pointed out how we should live to be truly happy. And we, like children, can only listen to his words and stop rejecting long-proven truths.