Monday, April 20, 2020

The Brightest Paradise is Opened on the First Day of Pascha

By Sergei V. Bulgakov

According to popular belief, the brightest paradise is opened on the first day of Pascha, and its gate remains opened during all of Bright Week. Therefore any one who dies during Bright Week becomes a saint, his soul entering directly into paradise. This idea was easily born in the popular mind partly under the influence of the sacred hymns proclaiming forgiveness in general, partly under the influence of the tradition to keep the Royal Doors open in the temples during all Paschal Week, itself signifying "an opening of the heavens". The Book of Needs explains why very little of the usual Burial Service for the Laymen is kept for their burial during the days of Pascha, saying that "the dead person has died in repentance (during these days); but even if he has not yet made satisfaction for his sins, these are remitted to him through the prayers of the Church and he will be freed from its bond".

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