• on October 19, 2015

The chiastic Structure of Pre and Post Paschal Sunday readings

Thomas Sunday – A Paschal “Normal” Festal Celebration: (completes the usual Liturgical Festal Ordo for Pascha: artoklasia, etc.).  The Gospel is an expanded reading otherwise identical to the reading at Agape Vespers. This makes Bright Week the Center of the Catechetical structure of readings.

The chiastic structure follows this pattern:

10th Passion Gospel of Holy Friday                                             Holy Myrrhbearers
2nd Sunday of Lent (Paralytic) – Entrance into Jerusalem          Paralytic
Prodigal Son – 1st Sunday of Lent                                               Samaritan Woman
Blind Man (31st after Pentecost/14th of Luke) – Prodigal Son     Blind Man

Each Gospel in the Paschal cycle has several elements from the Pre-Pascha Gospels:
The Gospel of the Myrrhbearers (2nd Sunday of Pascha) is identical to the 10th Passion Gospel. Even the Troparion/Apolytikion is the same as Holy Friday.

The Gospel of the Paralytic (3rd Sunday of the Pascha) has elements from the Gospel of the Paralytic (2nd Sunday of Lent) as well as the Entrance Into Jerusalem), 3rd Sunday ( being cast out for the Gospel), and 4th Sunday (healing), [the 5th Sunday can also be included but it is a farther stretch and appears to be a later substitution for the original reading?]

The Gospel of the Samaritan Woman (the prodigal woman) (4th Sunday after the Pascha) has elements of the Prodigal Son (3rd before Lent), the Last Judgement (2nd before Lent), Cheesefare (forgiveness of sins), and 1st Sunday of Lent (seeing the unknowable) [this is a stretch as this reading appears to be a later substitution for the original reading]

The Gospel of the Blind Man (5th Sunday after the Pascha) has elements of the Gospel of the Blind Man [this is the first of the actual rubrical preparatory readings for catechetical aspects of Lent] (31st after Pentecost / 14th of Luke) and Zaccheus (32nd after Pentecost / 15th of Luke) as well as the Publican and Pharisee (eyes not being lifted up) and the Prodigal Son which combines the themes of blindness and search for forgiveness. Note: The reading of the Canaanite Woman cannot be included in the structure and is readily noted as a late addition to the Preparatory Readings.

There is much more than can be said about the similarity of elements between the Pre and Post Pascha readings, but this gives a beginning.