In the Eastern Orthodox Church, Easter (Pascha) usually falls on a different day than the Western equivalent. This year it came late– really late. Like somebody-better-tell-that-bunny-to-wake-up-because-he’s-been-off-duty-for-three-weeks late.
|Don’t forget us Orthodox babies, Mr. Bunny.|
I’m not exactly sure why it’s on a different day. Probably something about the old calendar, and the moon, and other things I don’t have time to read about– either way, we celebrated this past weekend and it was beautiful and joyous and just plain Pascha-rific!
I could write for days about the beauty of Pascha but here are a few highlights:
|“Come ye take light from the light that is never overtaken by night.”|
- For the 40 days leading up to Pascha, Orthodox Christians observe Lent by fasting from meat and dairy products.
- The week before Pascha (Holy Week) is filled with services to prepare us for the resurrection of Christ. We commemorate His crucifixion, His burial, and attend a service called Lamentations, where we mourn for Christ in the tomb. This is not a morbid fixation on death but rather an honest look at the sacrifice required for our Salvation.
- The Paschal service begins Saturday evening around 11:30PM and usually lasts until 2:30AM Sunday morning. So a bunch of meat-hungry and exhausted church goers gather together in the middle of the night. Sound miserable? Don’t worry, it’s lovely.
- A meal follows the service. We break our fast with traditional Pascha foods, drink grown-up beverages, and party like it’s 1999. Christ is Risen!!
|At least one of them napped before the service. Unfortunately, it was the wrong one.|
What did Simeon think of all this? He enjoyed the preparations and even helped with our bread-making but the up all night stuff? Not for him.
Sim spent most of Pascha evening rotating between the following tasks:
- Screaming in anger when the priests shouted “Christ is Risen!”
- Flirting with the ladies in the pews around him
- Sending dirty looks to the choir at the start of each new hymn
- Wondering why the heck he wasn’t in bed
It was my first Easter with Simeon. This time last year I was frightened of the little person I carried. So much was unknown– so much still is. But Pascha was just what I needed– a faith I can feel all the way down to my toes. God is with us, death is overthrown, and Christ is Risen!
|Payback for babies who bite (this ended in tears, by the way)|