Afterward, I started cooking for the Paschal feast. I made Curry Devlied Eggs and Cheese Grits. Pascha ends the long period of fasting, so we get pretty excited about making and eating our favorite dishes. After cooking I got a chance to take a nap. Around 10pm Brandon and I headed for church.
Soon after the Paschal service began we turned out the lights and extinguish the candles. Then we lit candles from one large candle that Fr. Troy carries. We made a procession outside with the candles and sang. While we were outside we began singing Christ is Risen!
When we returned all the lights were on and everything was bright and beautiful! Then we sang "Christ is risen from the dead trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life!" Then the clergy each repeated "Christ is Risen" three times in various languages. My favorite was Deacon James and his progressively louder "Christos Anesti!!!" (That's greek.) We respond to each with "Indeed He is Risen!" in each language (We had a cheat sheet with all of the languages on it.) I love the sense of connection with so many other countries.
(I stole most of these pictures from Kh. Susan's blog, she's got a knack for taking great pictures.)
I love how we approach Christ's Ressurection. It's a big deal! The entire period of Lent, the bright sadness, leads up to the most glorious of feasts! Holy Week was hard, and for good reason. It made Pascha even more amazing. Easter isn't just another day for us. I don't know any better way to say it, it's a big deal!
After the liturgy, we the feasted by eating all the delicious goodies we craved during Lent. Much of the food is meat-centric but there were plenty of egg and cheese laden dishes for Brandon and I to feast upon, including Elizabeth Cameron's mac and cheese... YUM! Someone brought the Russian Paskah cheese, and I love that person. It's this yummy sweet soft cheese... I really want some right now! My friend Christine and I had a food strategy, we decided to eat very small portions of only a few items and to eat minimal carbs. This way, we were able to eat more cheese and not feel too full too fast. Christine's been Orthodox since she was a little, she's had some practice!
Finally I made it home around 4:00am and then slept until noon! That afternoon we had Agape Vespers followed by a picnic. At the Vespers service we read the Gospels several different languages. I think we had 8 different languages read, including: Norwegian, Greek, German, Spanish, Polish, and French. It's really cool! The picnic was rained out, but the kids were still able to have an indoor egg hunt. Then after the picnic my friend Anne Katherine surprised us by playing her bagpipes, it was so fun!This past weekend was wonderful... I can't think of any other way to end this post than by saying what we say to fellow Orthodox Christians during this season: Christ is Risen!... Indeed He is Risen!
Arabic: El Messieh kahm!... Hakken kahm!
Russian: Khristos voskrese!... Voistinu voskrese!
Greek: Christos Anesti!... Alithos Anesti!
Romanian: Cristos a inviat!... Adevarat a inviat!
Spanish: Cristo ha resucitado!... En verdad ha resucitado!