The Russian Orthodox Church will celebrate the festival of festivals, the pageant of pageants, Easter, on Sunday April 27.
The holiday is a token of victory over sin and death, of a new world atoned and blessed by Jesus Christ. After mourning comes rejoicing. Jesus Christ was crucified on Good Friday. He died to gain man's salvation. Then comes Holy Sabbath, when Christ's soul descended into hell to deliver the holy Fathers from thence, and then Easter Sunday.
The miracle of the holy fire takes place in the cave of Our Lord's Tomb in Jerusalem on Holy Sabbath every year.
On the night between Saturday and Sunday Orthodox churches hold particularly solemn services and processions with crosses and banners.
This marks the beginning of the 50-day Easter cycle.
The Day of Christ's Ascension into Heaven falls on the 40th day. The cycle winds up with the Holy Trinity Day, i.e. when the Holy Spirit descended onto the Apostles. The Holy Trinity Day marks the birth of the Church on earth.
Holy Sunday is also called Easter Sunday. The ancient Jewish word "Easter" means "deliverance" or "exodus." Judaism believers celebrate Easter as the Jews' exodus from Egypt and their crossing of the Red Sea.
Christians mark Easter as man's deliverance through resurrection for eternal life.
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