Oahu Orthodox churches
open week of observances

Orthodox Christians will mark Palm Sunday tomorrow, beginning a week of religious observance leading to their celebration of the greatest holiday of Christianity on May 1.

The difference in dates for Easter, which was celebrated March 27 by western Christianity, is based on the fact that churches of the Eastern Christian tradition continue to use the Julian calendar, created by Julius Caesar in the first century, while the western world adopted the calendar created by Pope Gregory in 1585.

By the time Orthodox Christians reach their Easter feasting, they will have observed a strict fast -- no meat, fish, dairy products, oil, wine -- for the month of Lent, a practice that has been eased or dropped in western churches.

Oahu's Orthodox congregations will gather late next Saturday evening for their traditional midnight Easter service. All of the week's events are open to the public.

» Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Pacific, 930 Lunalilo St., 521-7220.

Tomorrow -- 8:45 a.m. Matins. 9:45 a.m. Sunday school. 10 a.m. Divine Liturgy.
Monday and Tuesday -- 7 p.m. Bridegroom service. "Bridegroom" refers to Jesus telling his disciples that they should prepare for his coming as a wedding party awaits the groom, according to the Rev. Nicholas Gamvas, cathedral dean.
Holy Wednesday -- 9 a.m. Pre-Sanctified Liturgy. 7 p.m. Holy Unction.
Holy Thursday -- 9 a.m. Nipter service, commemorating Christ washing the feet of his disciples. 9:30 a.m. vesperal Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great, commemorating the Last Supper. 7 p.m. Service of the 12 Gospels, commemorating the Passion of Christ.
Holy Friday -- 9 a.m. Sunday School retreat. 3 p.m. Apokathelosis service commemorating when Jesus was taken down from the cross. 7 p.m. The Lamentations, burial service.
Holy Saturday, April 30 -- 9 a.m. vesperal Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great.
Great and Holy Pascha, May 1 -- Matins at 11:15 p.m. Saturday followed by midnight Resurrection Service and Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom.
» St. Mark's Coptic Orthodox Church, 1052 Ilima Drive, 277-8353.

Palm Sunday -- 8 a.m. raising of incense. 9 a.m. Divine Liturgy. 12:30 p.m. meal. 2 p.m. Holy Week service.
Monday -- 10 a.m. Holy Week service.
Tuesday and Wednesday -- 6 p.m. Holy Week service.
Holy Thursday -- 8 a.m. Holy Week service. 11 a.m. Blessing of Water. 12:30 p.m. Divine Liturgy and 11th Hour service. 6 p.m. Eve of Good Friday service.
Friday -- 8 a.m. Good Friday service. 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Saturday, Bright Saturday Service and Divine Liturgy.
Next Saturday -- 7 p.m. raising of incense. 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Sunday, Feast of the Resurrection Divine Liturgy.

» Holy Theotokos of Ivron, Russian Orthodox community, 931 Hausten St., Suite 101, 947-9093.

Palm Sunday -- 9:30 a.m. Liturgy.
Holy Monday -- 6:15 p.m. Bridegroom Matins.
Holy Wednesday -- 6:15 p.m. Holy Unction.
Holy Thursday -- 9:30 a.m. Vesperal Liturgy. 6:15 p.m. Matins, 12 Gospels service.
Great and Holy Friday -- 9 a.m. royal hours; 3 p.m. vespers; 6 p.m. Matins, Lamentations service.
Great Saturday, April 30 -- 11 p.m. Resurrection service.
Easter Sunday, May 1 -- 11 a.m. Agape vespers.

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