Every spring among Orthodox Christians, it is customary to celebrate Parents ‘ day or Radonitsa. The exact date of this day is not established, every year it falls on different days. To determine what day the Parents ‘ day falls on in 2021, you need to check the Church calendar and find out when Easter is expected. These two holidays occur only 9 days apart.
What is Radonitsa?
Parents ‘ day is a day when believers commemorate deceased relatives and friends. The books of the famous St. John Chrysostom (V century) indicate that our ancestors began to celebrate it in the pagan period. After the arrival of Christianity, this day acquired a pronounced religious character.
Radonitsa (Radunitsa) means “rod” or “joy”, since on this day believers still continue to rejoice in the resurrection of Christ, the celebration of Bright Easter is still ongoing. In addition, our pagan ancestors, after the snow melted in the spring, commemorated the deceased with a sacrifice to radunits, deities who protect the souls of the dead. Before determining what date Radonitsa will fall on in 2021, it is necessary to refer to the history of this holiday. And this day is really a holiday, it should not be considered a day of mourning. It is given a separate place within the annual cycle of religious holidays-after the end of Easter week.
In this way, believers are reminded that:
- deep feelings about the dead are unacceptable;
- it is necessary to show joy when deceased relatives leave and are born for a new eternal life;
- you need to overcome the grief of separation from your loved ones, as it is temporary;
- it is necessary to Express joy over the resurrection of Christ, to share it with the dead.
The death and resurrection of Christ are symbols of the victory of life over death. This is what gives us the opportunity, according to clergyman Anthony sourozhsky,”with faith, hope and Easter confidence to stand at the tomb of the deceased.”
The Orthodox Church has defined 8 days for the entire calendar year when believers can pray for the deceased. Four of them are tied to Lent, one – to Easter, one — to Trinity, and two more parental days are dedicated to commemorating fallen soldiers.
Radonitsa is usually celebrated on the ninth day after Easter. In 2021, parents ‘ day falls on Tuesday, may 11, as the Easter celebration will take place on may 2.
In addition, the dates of commemoration should be the birthday, name day and death of the deceased. It is advisable for relatives to make donations to churches, give alms to those in need, and read prayers.
In addition to Radonitsa, there are still several days when it is necessary to remember the deceased in 2021:
- March 6 is the date of the Ecumenical (meat-eating) Saturday, 8 days before the first day of Great Lent;
- March 27, April 3 and 10 – days of parental Saturdays of Great lent, falling on its second, third and fourth weeks;
- May 9 – April 26, old style) – commemorate the fallen soldiers;
- June 19-Trinity Saturday, on the ninth day after ascension;
- November 6-Dmitrievsky Saturday, preceding the day of memory of Demetrius of Thessalonica (the date was established as a tribute to the memory of the soldiers of the battle of Kulikovo, then it gradually became the date when every Orthodox soldier is commemorated).
These days are usually called parents ‘ Saturdays, as they always fall on a Saturday. They are not tied to specific dates, but depend on the Lenten-Paschal cycle that passes over. The Church conducts a rite of remembrance for all the brothers in the faith who have passed away for centuries, organizes funeral vigils and Ecumenical memorial services.
Orthodox customs to the day of rejoicing
Believers must come to the Church on Radonitsa before the service begins, write the names of the deceased on notes, and submit them for commemoration on the altar. It is desirable that this should be a commemoration at the Proskomedia: the priest takes out a piece of special prosphora and dips it into the Bowl with the Holy gifts, as a sign of deliverance from the sins of the deceased. After the service or Liturgy, a full memorial service is performed with Easter hymns. It is recommended that people who commemorate them receive communion of the Body and Blood of Christ themselves, which will make their prayers more effective.
After Church, the faithful go to the cemetery where their relatives are buried to read prayers. After coming to the cemetery, the faithful:
- They light a candle.
- They perform lithium. For this purpose, a priest is invited, although a short version of the rite of Litia can be performed by any believer.
- Read the akathist about the repose of the deceased, if there is such a desire.
After that, relatives need to sit in silence, remember the deceased. Then people visit the graves of all deceased relatives and acquaintances.
According to the clergy, it is not necessary to eat or drink, and the custom of pouring vodka on the grave is generally unacceptable – it offends the memory of the deceased.
There is a Christian custom according to which believers bring boiled eggs to the cemetery. One egg is usually buried in the ground near the cross, another is crushed and scattered on the grave. It is believed that the birds, having pecked the egg, will act as intercessors of the deceased before God. Such customs are not welcomed by the Church, it is considered paganism. It is better to give food to poor or needy people. The custom of leaving food on the grave began to appear after the revolution of 1917, when it was impossible to openly celebrate religious holidays.
Drunkenness during the commemoration of the dead is unacceptable. The Holy Scriptures allow you to drink a small amount of wine without abusing it. ” Do not get drunk on wine, there is fornication in it,” the Bible says. Dead people don’t need our libations, they expect us to pray, keep our hearts pure, and have a clear mind. Prayers are the most important and greatest boon that we should perform for our deceased relatives. It is our prayers that help them receive the grace of God. In addition, the custom of giving alms for the deceased is encouraged.
After visiting the cemetery, the Wake continues at home. On the table usually put porridge, pastries, pies, pancakes with cottage cheese and honey, jelly, fish. Relatives say kind words about the deceased.