Easter has always been my favorite Holy Day since I can remember. Not because of chocolate bunnies, eggs, and jelly beans in a basket, but because of the joyful Resurrection of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. Celebrating Pascha has only intensified that joy!
This is the third Orthodox Pascha I’ve celebrated, the first as an Orthodox Christian. This year I was able to participate fully, not only by receiving Holy Communion but also having had the privilege of singing with the choir on Holy & Great Friday and in the Paschal Matins & Liturgy. What a blessed experience!
Our choir is small. Well…so is our parish. We have 2 basses, 3 tenors, 3 sopranos, and 2 altos. According to Father and others in the congregation we sounded very good. They were amazed. Truly God blessed us and the angels sang with us.
Moving from the darkness of Good Friday and the solemness of Holy Saturday was intense. When we processed around the church 3 times, I got more and more excited. While standing on the steps at the door of the church I could barely keep myself from dancing on my toes in anticipation. Father’s booming voice rang out “CHRIST IS RISEN!” It reverberated off the houses surrounding the church. A second and third time, “CHRIST IS RISEN” and then….BANG, BANG, BANG the pounding on the door accompanied by Father’s rejoicing voice booming a final time, “CHRIST IS RISEN, CATASAUQUA, PA!!!!” We entered the church which was bright with white cloths and bright white lights and candles! The pace of everything moved much brighter and quicker and the more we sang the bigger my grin grew and the more my toes wanted to dance around the choir loft. Those cradle Orthodox just smiled as they watched my enthusiasm. May God grant it never leaves me!
After Liturgy we went downstairs to the fellowship hall and had our Pascha baskets blessed. I brought my little basket which contained my chrismation candle, butter with a cross cut in the top, Pascha bread, an egg, and a small pink marshmallow bunny. Next year I’ll remember the summer sausage, honey, and salt! We then supped on sumptuous goodies!
Though I was tired when I got home in the wee hours of the morning, I was filled with great Contentment and Peace which has lasted all day.
Happy Pascha! Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen! Blessed Bright Week to all!