I spent time with our oldest daughter, her husband, two children and her mother-in-law last week in a town near Salt Lake City. This was the first trip out of town I’ve taken since last March. I was thrilled.
I went for Pascha, the Orthodox Christian celebration, which often comes later than the regular Western date for Easter.
It’s this immense week of nightly times of worship, prayers, scripture, and Byzantine music.
At one of these our five-year-old granddaughter, wrote in my journal and then told me what she had written and in what language. Below the main Pascha Hymn “Christ has risen from the dead, trampling down death by death,” is written in Georgian she told me. She even read it to me! Imagine the gifting of a five year old?
Then on Saturday night, we left for worship at 9 pm. The first part of the service began at 10 pm. We began in the darkened sanctuary — no candles whatsoever. Then, we lit candles and carried this marching, singing around the church. We met again in the front, outside, awaiting to be let in to the then brightly lit sanctuary with all the candles blazing!
The opening Orthos continued 90 minutes then followed by liturgy for another hour. It was filled with shouts in many languages of “Christ is Risen!” Followed by the response, “Truly He is Risen!” Our grands found time for a nap during all this singing and shouting.
The worship finished at around 12:30 am and then we gathered for the meal following, when all those who had been fasting from meat, cheese, eggs and other products for the weeks of Lent “broke the fast” together.
My body was saying, “Well, since I’m still awake, I need fuel!” With wine, meat, cheese, eggs, and much laughter and joy we ate and celebrated. The joy of this night might have echoed the joy felt by the first disciples discovering Jesus had risen from the dead.
Above is our youngest grandchild holding her Pascha egg, dyed by being boiled with red onions!
While there during the day, other than working remotely, I got to spend time with our granddaughters. At 5 and 2.5 they are delightful little people full of questions and thoughts about life. We played with play dough and giant bubbles, baked cookies,
and I hid, and hid, and hid again plastic Easter eggs in the backyard for them to find.
Love these little people so much.
Such experiences are life-altering! I am so grateful.