Traditions of the holiday of the Trinity. What can and can not be done on the Trinity?
Seven weeks after the miraculous resurrectionJesus Christ His disciples were waiting for a new, incomparable joy - the descent into them of the Holy Spirit of the Comforter. This was the fulfillment of the promise given to them by the Master before His ascension to Heaven. From now on, filled with God's grace, they became the foundation of a new cathedral and apostolic church, which corrected the gates of hell and opened the way to eternal life.
Pentecostal Orthodox and Judaic
The holiday, established in honor of this event -Orthodox Trinity - often referred to as the Holy Pentecost. There are several explanations for this title. In addition, that the descent of the Holy Spirit was made on the fiftieth day after Easter, which was the basis for his name, it was also the day of the Jewish holiday, also called Pentecost. It was established in memory of the gift to the Jews of the Law, inscribed on the tablets and received from the hands of the prophet Moses on the fiftieth day after their withdrawal from the Egyptian slavery - the Jewish Passover.
About him we learn from the writings of many ancient authors. One of them, Josephus Flavius, talking about this holiday, which is also connected with the beginning of the harvest of wheat, calls it Pentecost. A similar name is also found in the writings of Greek and Byzantine historians that have come down to us.
The prototype of the New Testament
Thus, the Old Testament, concluded by the Lordwith Jews on the fiftieth day after the Jewish Passover and named Sinai, became the prototype of the New Testament, imprisoned in the Zion House by the apostles of the Holy Spirit. This expresses the inextricable link of the New Testament with the Old. Of all the holidays established by the holy church, only the Passover of Christ and Pentecost have Old Testament roots.
New Testament explanation of the holiday
To understand in full what a holiday meansTrinity, you should refer to the texts of the New Testament. From them it follows that death has dominated people since the time of original sin, but Jesus Christ through his cross suffering and the subsequent resurrection from the dead has revealed to people eternal life. The gate to it was the Christian church, born on the day of the descent into the Apostles of the Holy Spirit.
In the second chapter of the book of the Acts of the Apostlesdescribes how the disciples of Christ, during the ten days following his miraculous ascension, stayed in Jerusalem and, together with the Most Holy Theotokos, gathered daily in the upper room, which was called Zion. All their time was filled with prayers and contemplation. On the tenth day, as is evident from the Holy Scripture, suddenly there was a noise similar to that born from the gusts of the wind. After him, over the heads of the apostles, flames appeared that described a circle in the air, and fell asleep on each of them.
Gifts of the Holy Spirit
This insubstantial fire was a visual imageThe Holy Spirit. Executed by Him, the apostles reborn into a new life. Henceforth, their mind was opened to comprehend the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven. But, besides, by the grace of God they were given the powers and abilities necessary for preaching the true doctrine among the most diverse nations. Their lips were henceforth broadcast in languages formerly alien and not known to them. Such a miracle confounded the witnesses of their first sermons. With the greatest astonishment, foreigners recognized in their speeches the sounds of their native language.
Since then, the apostoliccontinuity. Each subsequent generation of priests, through the ordinance of ordination, acquired grace that enabled them to perform the ordinances themselves, without which the path to eternal life is impossible. That's why this joyful holiday - the Orthodox Trinity - is rightfully considered the birthday of the church of Christ.
Features of worship on the Trinity
The celebration of the Trinity is accompanied by one of the mostbeautiful and memorable church services of the entire Orthodox annual cycle. At the Great Vespers, solemn stichera are performed, chanting the Holy Spirit and its descent to the apostles, and upon their completion the priest recites special festive prayers, asking God for the blessing of His holy Church, saving all its children and resting the souls of the departed. The service of the Trinity also includes a special petition, exalted about those whose souls before the Last Judgment are in hell. During the reading of these prayers, all those present in the temple are kneeling and listening to the words of the priest.
Traditions of the Trinity holiday are unusually rich andare poetic. Since ancient times, it is customary to cover the floors in churches and houses with fresh grass, and in the church rooms to put specially birch-trees for the holiday. Icons are usually decorated with a dress from birch branches, and during the service to the whole clergy it is prescribed to be in a vestment of green color, which symbolizes the life-giving power of the Holy Spirit. The internal view of the temples on this day takes on the appearance of a spring grove, where everything glorifies the Creator in His unspeakable wisdom.
Folk traditions and rituals
The folk traditions of the holiday of the Trinity go their own wayroots in the pre-Christian times. It so happened that often in the deep consciousness of the people the Christian and pagan neighbors side by side. Especially clearly it appears in old customs. Trinity Day is no exception. Traditions of this holiday, one of the most important among the Eastern Slavs, include the so-called Semitsko-Troitsky cycle. It includes Thursday and Saturday in the week preceding the holiday, as well as the Trinity Day itself. In general, it is popularly known as the "Green Christmas".
The folk traditions of the feast of the Trinity are closely relatedwith the rituals of commemoration of the deceased, especially the drowned ones. In addition, they reflected the ancient cult of plants and everything related to girlish divination, festivals and all sorts of initiations. If we add here the greeting of the Slavs and the meeting of the summer, it will be clear how diverse this holiday is in its semantic nuances.
Week before the holiday
The whole week before the holiday was perceived ashis joyful vestibule. These days, young girls of 8-12 years of age went for birch branches to decorate their houses. On Thursday, it was decided to eat fried eggs, symbolizing the summer sun. In the forest, the children performed a special ritual - they curled the birch. It was previously adorned with ribbons, beads and flowers, and then weaved its branches into braids, tying them in pairs. Roundabout dressed in this way, the dances took place - the way it is done around the Christmas tree.
The Sabbath before the Trinity was the day of remembrance of the departed. It has long been called the Parental Sabbath. So it is called in our days. The Orthodox Church included it in the days of special commemoration. In addition to the prayerful remembrance in the church and at home, the parental Saturday made a visit to the cemeteries, caring for the graves and just a heartfelt prayer for those who passed away, but remained close to us and dear. The Holy Church teaches that God does not have dead, therefore for those who have gone to eternal life, our remembrance will be like congratulations with the Holy Trinity.
Traditions of a festive day
Saturday before the Trinity, with her quiet sadness onpassed away, was replaced by a joyful day of the holiday. After the solemn service in the temple, the young people went to the forest, to those birches that were curled in the Troitskaya (Semitskaya) week. Now it was supposed to develop them, otherwise the birches could "take offense." Again danced, songs were sung, congratulations were received with the Holy Trinity. It all ended with a festive meal. The birches themselves were cut down. They were carried with songs over the village, and, finally, allowed to sail along the river. It was believed that their life forces will pass to the first shoots of a new crop.
Traditions of the Trinity holiday were assigned to rivers and lakesa special role. On this day, the girls were made to speculate about how their personal life will develop in the near future. To find out these mysterious hearts, they wove wreaths of spring flowers and dropped them into river streams. If the wreath was drowning, it meant that the girl will have to have patience and wait for her betrothed until next spring. If he stayed on the water, and especially if he was swimming against the current, it was possible to cook with confidence the wedding dress - the groom is somewhere nearby.
Restrictions prescribed on holiday days
But, according to ancient beliefs, all ponds in the days,When there was a celebration of the Trinity, they concealed a special danger in themselves. It was noticed that in Troitsyn the day the mermaids left their usual pools and emerged from the water. Hiding in the foliage of the shallow willows, they lured the unwary passers-by with laughter and awning and, after tickling them to death, enticed them into the water depths. For this reason, swimming in the feast of the Trinity was considered complete madness.
In general, this holiday was accompanied by manylimitations. In addition to bathing, it was not recommended to walk alone in the woods, as there was nothing good to expect from the ducks. Throughout the whole Trinity week, it was impossible to knit birch brooms, which is understandable given the sacred role assigned to the birch on the day of the holiday. It was also believed that those who will be in the Semitsk week to build a fence or repair harrows, the cattle will bring an ugly litter. It's hard to say what kind of connection, but if you can not - then you can not, it's better not to take risks. Well, of course, as on every holiday, it was impossible to work.
The Feast of the Trinity yesterday and nowadays
Among researchers there is an opinion that only inThe reign of St. Sergius of Radonezh began to celebrate the feast of the Holy Trinity in full in Russia. Traditions and customs, inherent before the Semitsky week, gradually moved to the Trinity, which is not uncommon in historical practice. A vivid illustration of this can be the Orthodox Christmas, traditionally accompanied by numerous rituals that have come down to us from pagan times.
Speaking of what the holiday of the Trinity means in ourdays and what it meant to our ancestors, we need to distinguish the main thing - and then and now this is the triumph of life, given to us by the Savior. Today we approach it more meaningfully. Thanks to the opportunities that opened to us the century of technological progress, everyone has access to the works of the Holy Fathers and popular theological articles. Much of what the long-gone generations of Slavs believed in, became for us only poetic folklore. But the greatest humanism of Christ's teaching was opened for our understanding in all its power and beauty.