Pascha is the Greek word for Easter, which for our Church occured this Sunday. If you missed my previous post about why the Orthodox Church celebrates Easter on a different day than the Western Catholic and Protestant Churches, you can click here to read it now. We actually made it (only a couple minutes late) to the Sunrise Service beginning at 5am for Orthodox Easter.
The service begins in the dark reminicent of Christ in the tomb. Then the lights of the Church come on, the bells are ringing, and Father Mel shouts "Christ is Risen!" The entire congregation shouts in reply, "Indeed, he is risen!" People throw confetti and pop poppers filled with streamers. It is one of the biggest celebrations I've ever attended. All the while, our little Maggie slept on.
The Orthodox follow a strict vegan fast during Lent, the 40 days proceding Easter. So Easter morning is feast time! The youth of the church put on a big breakfast with eggs, bacon, sausage, ham, and yummy cinnamon rolls. Magnolia slept through that as well. Lucky for us, her sleeping continued long enough for Mama and Papa to get a nap before the annual Church picnic. When she did wake up she was full of smiles and things to say. We had a lot of fun at the picnic. Brian thinks the picnic is like Bilbo's birthday party at the beginning of the Lord of the Rings; lots of food!, singing, dancing, beer/wine!, kids riding horses, egg toss competition, water fights, accountants putting silly signs on their wives back, the annual silly string attack on Father Mel, and the merriment lasts all day. I snapped a bunch of pictures that you can check out on our flickr site.