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14 May 2024, 09:16

Belarusian Orthodox mark Radunitsa

MINSK, 14 May (BelTA) – On 14 May Orthodox believers are marking Radunitsa, a commemoration of the departed observed on the second Tuesday of Easter. The name of the festival comes from the Slavic word “radost” (“joy”), which Jesus’ Resurrection brought to everyone.

The special place of Radunitsa in the annual circle of church feasts - right after Easter week - prescribes Christians not to give themselves up to grief because of the death of loved ones, but, on the contrary, to rejoice in their birth into a new life - eternal life. The victory over death, won by Jesus Christ, displaces the sadness of temporary separation from loved ones.

On this day churches hold divine services: the funeral prayer is heard for the first time after Easter, and Easter hymns are chanted, too. The faithful come to church to submit notes with the names of their loved ones, place candles with a prayer for the repose of the deceased, bring food.

Praying for the deceased, the living share with them the Easter joy of the risen Christ the Savior. The ritual dishes on Radunitsa are a memorial Lenten kutya with honey, dyed Easter eggs, cakes, pancakes, honey Easter gingerbread.

Commemoration is also carried out in cemeteries. Graves are cleaned up and candles are lit in memory of the deceased. The duty of any Orthodox Christian on this day is to pray to the Lord for the repose of the souls of relatives and friends. At home before the memorial meal it is necessary to read the requiem prayers from the prayer book.

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