Author Topic: 2 questions about days of the week  (Read 1271 times)

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Offline Donna Rose

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2 questions about days of the week
« on: February 13, 2005, 11:17:55 PM »
These are fairly simple questions, and I am wondering if there is a simple Orthodox answer to them...

1) We profess in the creed that "On the third day He rose again..." I always wondered, then, why Holy Week had Great and Holy Friday, the day Christ was crucified (around 3 pm, or so I was told growing up RC), followed two days later by Pascha on Sunday, the day Christ rose from the dead. Why the seeming discrepancy? A RC friend of mine last year explained it as "Friday, Saturday, Sunday, 3 days." I know a liturgical and biblical day is sundown to sundown, but that would still be Friday sundown to Saturday sundown, one day, Saturday sundown to Sunday sundown, 2 days. Is there a simple explanation for why Holy Week is like this?

2) We fast on Wednesdays and Fridays because Wednesday is the day Christ was betrayed and Friday is the day Christ was crucified. I mentioned this to a RC friend of mine who then (naturally) responded: "But Christ was betrayed on a Thursday!" If I'm not mistaken, both the RCC and the Orthodox commemorate the "Last Supper" and Christ's arrest in the garden, when Judas betrays Christ with a kiss, on Great and Holy Thursday/Holy Thursday (during their respective Holy Weeks). How do we explain then that Christ was betrayed on a Wednesday? I asked a friend who reasoned (although she wasn't sure herself) that perhaps it refers to the day on which Judas makes the deal with the High Priests to betray Christ, and is paid. Is this the explanation of the Church? Does anyone know?

As a side note, I know the days of the week are in many ways just relative markers, and that they are not necessarily literal. Or are they? I suppose they could be quite literal...any insights?
« Last Edit: February 14, 2005, 12:37:23 AM by Donna Rose »
hmmmm...

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: 2 questions about days of the week
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2005, 11:27:23 PM »
Christ was not crucified on a Wednesday, but on Friday.  The significance of Wednesday is that it was on this day that Judas agreed to betray Jesus to the priests of the Temple for thirty pieces of silver.  RC's have/had this; they call it "Spy Wednesday".

Regarding the days, I've always heard it explained that, in the Hebrew conception, part of a day = day.  Part of the day on Friday, Friday night, Saturday morning, Saturday night, part of Sunday = three days.  It may be that there are other explanations, though.   
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Offline MsGuided

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Re: 2 questions about days of the week
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2005, 11:30:14 PM »
I would assume that the Third Day is such because he was crucified and iirc died on the Friday that we commemorate. So he was dead Friday and Saturday, and rose on Sunday, the Third Day.

OCA.org says Wednesday is for when Christ was betrayed, and the GOA website says that Wednesday remembers the day the Jews conspired against Christ. I'd assume they refer to the same event, because once the conspiracy was made, Christ was already betrayed, I guess.
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Offline TonyS

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Re: 2 questions about days of the week
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2005, 11:39:54 PM »
If you follow the Holy Week services you'll see that the betrayal in the form of the agreement of Judas to hand Him over is on Wednesday.  If you read the Gospel accounts it is rather clear that the betrayal (by making a deal with the Jewish authorities) was not the same day as the meal we call the Last Supper.

I think also part of the problem with the "third day" issue is the counting.  Not all languages count the same, I have learned this the hard way over time.  Recall that it is on the third day, not three days after.  So, Friday is the first day, Saturday is the second, Sunday is the third.  Again, look at the Scriptures. "Early in the morning, before dawn, on the first day of the week."  (<cf Mat. 28:1ff)  He was crucified on the eve of the Sabbath as can be gleaned from the Scriptures.

Probably the older RC texts reflected this better.
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Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: 2 questions about days of the week
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2005, 11:50:27 PM »
Regarding 1, I have been taught the same thing as Mor Ephrem... it is called "inclusive reckoning" and the Jews continue this practice to this day. Three days in this case does not equate to three twenty-four hour periods.
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Offline Donna Rose

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Re: 2 questions about days of the week
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2005, 12:36:59 AM »
Gotcha on the 3-day issue :)

As well as for the issue of the day Christ was betrayed being Wednesday...makes sense that it is the deal that we refer to.

Quote
Christ was not crucified on a Wednesday, but on Friday.

As for this...that would be my mistake haha my first post is edited to correct it :) thanx for pointing it out... ;D
hmmmm...

Offline prodromos

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Re: 2 questions about days of the week
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2005, 04:22:26 AM »
Look up the term "synecdoche", the rhetorical or metaphorical substitution of a part for the whole, or the whole for a part.
Thus the whole, "three days and three nights", represents the parts, "Friday afternoon, all Saturday, and Sunday morning".

The same usage is apparent in the different number of days leading up to the Transfiguration given in Luke 9:28 as opposed to Matt 17:1 and Mark 9:2, Matthew and Mark only counting whole days whereas Luke includes the afternoon prior to and the morning following in his count of days.

John
« Last Edit: February 14, 2005, 04:23:35 AM by prodromos »

Offline TonyS

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Re: 2 questions about days of the week
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2005, 08:57:59 PM »
Donna Rose,

You can check out this page
http://www.holytrinitymission.org/books/english/cannons_apostles_rudder.htm
and use the "find on this page" option in your browser to locate Wednesday. I should take you toward the bottom. There after number 69, in the interpretation you will find "As for the two days in the week on which we also fast, namely, Wednesday and Friday, we fast on Wednesday because it was on that day of the week that the council was held in connection with the betrayal of our Lord; and we fast on Friday because it was on that day of the week that He suffered in flesh His death in behalf of our salvation...."

T
Tómame como al tequila, de un golpe y sin pensarlo. - Ricardo Arjona

I'd be a fool to surrender when I know I can be a contender
and if everbody's a sinner then everybody can be a winner
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I'll see you when yo

Offline Donna Rose

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Re: 2 questions about days of the week
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2005, 09:44:11 PM »
Thank you for all the great info, and TonyS for the very informative link :) im glad i now know how to answer such questions when they pop up from my non-Orthodox friends :)
hmmmm...