Orthodox Christians celebrate the ascension of the Lord

© RIA Novosti / Andrey to Rudakubana in fotobanka of the temple. Archival photoOrthodox Christians celebrate the ascension of the Lord© RIA Novosti / Andrey to Redcompare the image Bank

Orthodox Christians on Thursday celebrate one of 12 major feasts — the Ascension, which always falls on the fortieth day after Easter; the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill on this day will celebrate the divine Liturgy at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior.

According to legend, after the Resurrection Christ appeared to the apostles, teaching them the basics of the faith and the establishment of the Church. On the 40th day the Saviour took the disciples from Jerusalem to the mount of olives, blessing them, began to ascend to the sky until it disappeared in the cloud. While the disciples received the promise of the future second coming of Christ: who appeared to them two angels said that the Lord, who ascended into heaven, «will so come in like manner» as they «have seen Him go into heaven.»

«The Lord during his life was not joyful days, joyful events, in the sense that this joy were divided by others. Maybe only the entrance into Jerusalem… And everything else was due to a very difficult Ministry that He was carrying people with severe environment around It, with a constant internal struggle and the need to overcome the gravity of human evil,» said the Patriarch after the vigil on Wednesday evening in the Church of the Great ascension at Nikitsky gate.

Ascension, he added, is «the most final, the most solemn, the most striking chord of this divine-human life, and that is why this holiday is always accompanied by a peaceful, joyful state.»

According to the teachings of the Church, the ascension ended the earthly presence and Ministry of God the Son. Before that, Christ promised the apostles the imminent revelation to earth of the Holy spirit. This event the Orthodox Church will celebrate soon the 50th day after the Passover, in the feast of the Holy Trinity, or «Pentecost.»