Among the most important universal church observances shared by both the Catholic and Orthodox Churches are:
Lent (period beginning 40 weekdays before Easter): an annual season of fasting and penitence in preparation for Easter.
Palm Sunday (Sunday before Easter): commemorates Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem.
Holy Thursday (Thursday before Easter): celebrates Jesus's gift of his body and blood in the Eucharist; the anniversary of the Last Supper.
Good Friday (Friday before Easter): the commemoration of the crucifixion of Christ.
Easter Sunday (Sunday after Good Friday): celebrates Jesus Christ's resurrection from the dead.
Ascension Day (40th day after Easter): celebrates the ascension, or rising of Christ to heaven.
Pentecost (seventh Sunday after Easter): commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit on the disciples.
Assumption of Mary (known as "Dormition of Mary" in the Eastern churches; August 15th): celebrates the day on which God assumed the body of Mary into heaven.
Immaculate Conception (December 8th): celebrates the sinless-ness of Mary, the mother of Christ. (Eastern Christians also recognize the sinlessness of Mary, but do not speak of it in these terms. The birth of Mary is celebrated on this day in the Eastern Churches as the Conception of Saint Anne, the day on which Mary was conceived by Anne, her mother.)
Christmas (December 25th): celebrates the birth of Christ.
all meat and dairy products, as well as intensified prayer and almsgiving. The highlight of the Orthodox liturgical year is Easter, the Feast of the Resurrection of Christ, in which the faithful sing repeatedly:
Christ is risen from the dead trampling down death by death and upon those in the tomb bestowing life.
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