Thursday, April 20, 2006

Being an Orthodox Christian, oftentimes I don't celebrate Easter along with the rest of the Western world. The Orthodox Church is on a different calendar, which means that we follow different guidelines for when Easter will be held. This year, we are a week behind the Westerners. So right now we are in Holy Week, and the anticipation is still building- we're not there yet (although I must say I never experienced a whole lot of anticipation as a Protestant, except that choir rehearsals got to be more frequent). There are services every night this week, and tonight has got to be one of my favorites.

But I feel a little strange saying that this is my favorite service, because ultimately I think it sounds like "I love that part when they kill Jesus". Tonight is all about the crucifixion, and the cross is taken around the church, and the service is incredibly somber (and very long). But of course it is extremely emotional, in a subdued sort of way, and the resolution comes only after 3 days of waiting, just like it did in real life. The services between now and Saturday at midnight are ones in which Christ is taken down from the cross and placed in the tomb, and you have to wait until that midnight service on Saturday to celebrate the culmination of it all: the resurrection. There is no way for me to express what an experience this is, it's just incredible. I almost want to warn people against asking me about it, because I know how much time I will take to explain it. But I highly recommend that anyone with any religious inclination take part in this week of Orthodox services sometime in their life. It's beautiful.

At 2am Sunday morning I will be eating meat, cheese, chocolate, and drinking alcohol, with the words Christos Anesti! on my lips.

3 comments:

Andrew W said...

Hiya,

I just tracked back to your blog from Dooce after searching for all the other Orthodox commenters. Good luck tonight!

Tonight my Antiochian church in Cambridge, MA, meets up with the Greek church in Cambridge's Central Sq., both congregations on foot, both carrying their respective flower-covered biers. The police block traffic, drivers ask us what's going on, residents lean out apartment windows and take pictures, and people leave the local bars to look on. Yes, it's Christ's burial march, but it's the best night of the year for Orthodox public relations!

Anonymous said...

because of this, and of course so many other reasons, i think i will always treasure you in my life.

i love that Christ is so alive in your life, and makes me feel the same way about you.

i guess iron can sharpen iron from another state and seemingly many miles away...

sara

Courtney said...

Ok lady, when you blogged on myspace I got to read something a few times a week. I know I am not great at keeping up with it either, life is hectic. I hope you're ok.