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Working paper

A hidden feast cycle inside of a Christian apocrypha

The Acts of Andrew and Matthias contains in a not evident form a feast cycle, which could represent a liturgical practice of the 4th c.-community where the Acts were written. Three days of Andrew’s torments could be linked with Holy Wednesday, Holy Thursday and Good Friday. They are preceded by 27 or 28 days, i.e., 4 weeks of grief and some kind of fast. Andrew’s torments are followed by his miraculous healing that could be compared to Resurrection and Easter. After it Andrew is most likely to have baptized the cannibals ; it reminds one of an ancient tradition of single baptism on Holy Saturday. Finally Andrew has to remain in the city for seven more days ; together with the day of baptism they form those eight days for neophytes’ confirmation before ablutions and at the same time complete the Octave of Easter, that ends with taking baptismal cloths off the neophytes. Andrew’s departure could also be compared with Ascension that was linked with While Sunday. A liturgical circle could be seen on a lower level as well in ch. 2–3 : Matthias’ prayer – Christ’s admonition with citation of the Gospel – «peace be with you» – Matthias’ exclamation – singing of Psalms.