Thursday, July 22, 2010

Mesqel = Feast of the True Cross

Mesqel (Ge'ez: መሰቀል, French: Feast of the True Cross) is celebrated on September 27 by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and Eritrean Orthodox Church by the. Celebrated for over 1600 years in Ethiopia, it commemorates the discovery of the True Cross by Empress Helena.

The Ceremony

During the ceremony, the demera, a large pile covered with grass and flowers is on youth. Indeed, the Empress Helena had been a revelation in a dream in which she was brought to light a bonfire whose smoke would show him where the true cross was buried.

She then ordered the people of Jerusalem to prepare the pyre which was added to the incense, it was later on. The smoke rose into the sky and headed toward the ground at the exact spot where the True Cross had been buried. The bonfire is lit the largest in Addis Ababa on Mesqel adebabay.

The pyre is lit or the night before or the day, according to local traditions. After the pyre was extinguished, the ashes are used by the faithful to mark their foreheads with the sign of the cross, recalling the practice on Ash Wednesday.

According to Edward Ullendorff the term Demera can have various meanings, some believe that "marks the final act on the cancellation of sins, others believe that the direction of the smoke and the collapse of the pile shows course of events - like the cloud of smoke above the Lord Tabernacle suggested the direction to the children of Israel (Exodus 40:34-38) "

According to Ethiopian tradition, part of the True Cross was brought to Ethiopia where she was kept on the Amba Geshen, Mount itself crosshair, so Mesqel is a particularly important festival in the Ethiopian church calendar.

According to the Eritrean Church, the discovery of the True Cross occurred during the month of March but was moved Mesqel in September so that the celebration takes place during Lent, also the church in Jerusalem commemorating the True Cross was dedicated in September.

According, Ullendorff, Mesqel allegedly replaced another party, related to Hebrew and pagan traditions that have been recognized as a Christian in the fourteenth, perhaps during the reign of Amda Seyon.

Mesqel be related to the change of season, as the festival of Jewish tradition. In fact, matches September 27 to 17 of Meskerem Ethiopian calendar, or "Meskerem marks the end of the rainy season, return to work and reopening of communication".


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