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?