Sunday 22 April 2012

Thomas Sunday

On the Sunday after Pascha we commemorate the occasion on which the Holy Apostle Thomas touched the Saviour's side. The hymns for this Sunday all concern the appearance of the Saviour to the disciples eight days after his arising and the normal hymns for the Resurrection are set aside.  The kontakion of the feast makes clear not only that the Apostle Thomas physically touched the life-bestowing side of the Saviour, but also that Christ entered whilst the doors were shut thus showing the brilliance of His Divinity.

In most churches the 'artos' or 'Thomas Bread' is distributed on this day - more properly, this should be done on Bright Saturday. The artos is baked in time for Pascha and it is kept in front of the Royal Doors all through Bright Week (except during the services).  In some traditions the Thomas Bread is eaten immediately, but more often it is dried and kept in the icon corner. When the Thomas Bread is blessed the priest says 'by Thy might root out from us all sickness and infirmity, granting health unto all' and so we eat a small portion in times of sickness or ill-health.

The Artos on Thomas Sunday

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