Greetings in the name of His & Her Imperial Majesties Qedamawi Haile Sellassie I & Itege Menen Asfaw,
This is another one of the many interpretations of the Scriptures from the light of Ras Tafari by, I, Lidj Yefdi (pronounced Lij, Yef-dee).
I welcome you all to another celebratory posting as we move closer to monumental commemoration of the Hebraic Purïm & Passover. This time is set for recollection and reexamination of one’s self. Fasting & prayer is key leading up to the Passover.
Passover, commemorates the Hebrew Exodus out of Egypt during the bondage in which much of the original concepts of faith, culture and development were skewed in increments only noticeable to the people who had a immersed concept of the earlier testimonies of the origins. Passover in the Hebraic sense is known as Pésăcḥ – פִּסֵחַ. This Hebraic celebration is also known to be part of the Moedim – מועדים, or the “appointed times” set apart for the Hebrews/Israelites (Jews & those alike) to observe as memorials. In the Ethiopic sense, Passover is known as Fasika – ፋሲካ. In the way of the Hebrew/Jewish manners of faithful practices, the Ethiopians & Eritreans recognize this time of year in extremely similar patterns. Though, there are applications in the greater in number churches, of the West; this still excludes them. (for example, the Roman Catholic, Baptist, Seven-day Adventist churches, Evangelical, etc.) The Eastern Orthodox churches has observances that mirror those of what would be known as more, Hebraic or Jewish practices when pertaining to faith.
Now, to the reason for this post here at RasTafari Renaissance; is the “Great Fast,” or Abíy Tẓ’ōm – ዐቢይ ጾም / ዓቢይ ጾም. This period in the Ethiopian & Eritrean Churches, which are also known as the “Tewahido/Tewahedo” churches clustered with the other Orthodox sister churches (ie. Greek Orthodox, Syrian Orthodox, Russian Orthodox etc etc) have similar practices which have orderly examples in which they observe this time leading up to Passover; known to the greater world as “Easter.” You may know of this time especially in the West, that leads to Easter.
To the Ethiopian & Eritrean Orthodox Churches, Lent (Hūdădæ – ሑዳዴ) means a period of fasting when the faithful undergo a rigorous schedule of prayers and penitence. This fast is observed with greater rigor than any other fast and it is a test of one’s Christianity. One who fails to keep it is not considered a good Christian. Properly observed it nullifies the sins committed during the rest of the year. The faithful should abstain from all food except bread, water and salt. It consists of about 56 days (opposite of the Western Christian – 40 days), all meat is forbidden, and also, what are called “lactina/lactose;” milk, butter, cheese, eggs, etc.
On all the fasting days only one meal is allowed and this is to be taken in the afternoon, or in the evening. On Saturdays and Sundays people are allowed to eat in the morning. Daily Services are conducted in all the Churches. Each day services are held from morning to the afternoon. Priests regularly attend night services starting at midnight up to the early morning.
Each week of the Great Lent has its own name associated with what Christ did or taught. The names and the corresponding part for readings, of the bible are shown below with each Sunday heralding the beginning of each week & focus reading.
[NOTE:] Usually, small children of are excluded from these practices until the age of maturity has surfaced.
(around pre-teen, or the teenage period)
Fasting is appears in many religions around the world, but, as ones would know, in the west it has lost its rigour for the majority of peoples. However, in the Ethiopian/Eritrean Orthodox church & to the extent of the other Orthodox churches of the east; there are many fasting days through the year. In the most strict observances, all fasters would be vegan for half the year. The longest of the fasts is our topic here in the Hudade(i)/ Abiy Tsom season. So, as the Lenten Fast or the “Great Fast,” leads up to Easter/Passover it is variously known in dfferent forms, and the majority of adherent of the Orthodox churches approximately fast for these 55 days every year.
The first week of Hudade is known as the fast of Eraclius, a Byzantine Emperor who lived in 614 A.D. During his reign the Persians invaded Jerusalem and took the Cross of the Lord. Eraclius made an expedition to Persia and having defeated the Persians he took the Cross back to Jerusalem. The Christians in Jerusalem who were very happy because of Eraclius’s victory and the return of the Cross, dedicated the first week before Lent to be the fast of Eraclius and included it in their canons.