Dmitrievskaya Saturday: the history of the establishment and tradition of commemoration of the dead
Traditions of the Orthodox Church, in contrast toProtestant denominations, recognize the legitimacy of prayers for the deceased. Therefore, the presence on the calendar of days specially reserved for the prayerful remembrance of the deceased ancestors is not accidental within the framework of the orthodox tradition. As a rule, they are tied to the Sabbath, and therefore are called parental Sabbaths. In total, there are seven plus one day on the ninth of May, which has no connection to the Sabbath, or to any other part of the week. One of these days, which will be discussed below, is called Dmitrievskaya Saturday.
History of the establishment of Dmitrievskaya Saturday
Not all the days of the memory of the deceased were establishedat a time. Some of them are much older than others. Dmitriev's commemorative Saturday, for example, had a well-known Kulikovo battle as an occasion for its establishment. At first, this day, and remembered only those killed in that battle of the soldiers. But over time, the memory of the deceased defenders of the fatherland began to weaken, and as a result, all the deceased Orthodox were commemorated.
As such, Dmitrievskaya Saturday was installedPrince Dmitry Donskoy, on behalf of which it received its name. It happened, of course, not immediately, not according to some official order of the ruler. The process of development of this tradition was gradual. But the starting point is 1380, when the army of Mamai was defeated. With thanksgiving prayers for the victory, Dmitry Donskoi visited the Trinity-Sergius Lavra, where he received a blessing for this battle from the founder and hegumen of the Monastery of St. Sergius of Radonezh. Together with the thanksgiving services in memory of the murdered comrades, a funeral service was performed, which was included in the tradition every year. Such a scale Dmitrievskaya Saturday did not acquire by accident - tens of thousands of soldiers fell on the battlefield only from the Russian side, which compares with the level of the population of that time to a very large number. Many families have lost loved ones - fathers, husbands, brothers. Therefore, the joy of victory in this battle inherently merged in Russia with a bitter loss.
The date for this commemoration day was chosenSaturday before October 26, according to the old style, or on November 8, new, that is before the feast of the Great Martyr Demetrius of Thessalonica (this saint is the heavenly patron of Prince Dmitry Donskoy). Thus, last year, Dmitrievskaya parental Saturday was celebrated on November 1, and this year it falls on the 7th. Soon a new tradition was supported in all the dioceses of the Russian Church, and it became firmly established in the liturgical tradition.
The customs of commemoration
Like any funeral day, DmitrievskayaSaturday is celebrated by the performance of requiems, funeral prayers, visits to cemeteries and special funeral meals. In the traditions of the Dmitrievskaya Sabbath, the pre-Christian customs of the Slavs, connected with the cult of ancestors, were also imprinted. So, for example, on the eve of church funeral prayers, on the eve of Saturday it was customary to leave in the bathhouse clean water and new brooms for the souls of the deceased. Similarly, at night, a specially prepared dinner was left on the table, so that the ancestors who arrived could be satisfied. Food for the deceased was also included in the cemetery. In general, the scale and scale of the celebration of this day in Russia testifies to the fusion of two traditions - a pagan holiday of ancestors and a Christian day of remembrance of the deceased.
Concerning a purely ecclesiastical ritual,Dmitriev's commemorative Saturday is nothing special. On the eve, on Friday evening, in the temples there is a so-called parastas - a memorial evening service. And in the Saturday itself, a funeral service with a requiem is held in the morning. As a donation on this day, it is customary to include in the temple products, except for spirits and beef.
Talking about what is Dmitrievskayaparental Saturday, the preaching of the church also draws attention to the need for personal, and not only temple, remembrance of the departed. First of all, this concerns the nearest deceased relatives. Actually, that's why the funeral Saturdays are called parental - in them, first of all they pray for the repose of their parents (if they died) and other close people. For this, in order to help believers in church prayer books, special rites of funeral prayers are offered.