Thursday, April 28, 2005


Much is happening. This week is the Orthodox Holy Week and Pascha - our Easter. This is a very special time, a contemplative time, a time when, through the readings of the Church and the services, we go through the last week of Christ's life, and then the joyful announcement of His Resurrection.

The first time I went through this I didn't really understand it all. So much was happening. There was so much to see, so much to experience, it was the most beautiful moment of over-whelming joy I've ever experienced next to discovering someone loved me just as much as I love him.

The second time was so hopeful and I was trying too hard to get everything "just right" that I missed out on some of the beauty. Since then each and every Pascha has been different and the joy of Christ and His Church has continued to grow within me until I am filled with glee, a true joy I can't describe and can only experience. The really super great thing about this is everyone else is going through the same thing.

Tonight's service is the 12 Gospels where the readings of how Christ had the Last Supper, went into the Garden to pray, and was taken by the Sanhedrin all occurs. It is as if we are there in some mysterious way, going through these events as did the original disciples and women. It is a sad experience because, even though you know the end of the story, for a time you feel lost and uncomposed because Jesus was taken and He is suffering as a Man and not as God. It was this service that helped me fully understand Christ was fully God and fully Man. Christ will be Crucified and we will have services to experience this, as well as the procession with the byre. It is most moving, most sad.

Following this is Pascha! Resurrection! Christ is risen! Joy sweeps through my heart at this thought, this expectation. Yes, I know Christ has already risen and indeed ascended into Heaven, but sometimes...sometimes it is good to experience all of this to remember why you became a Christian in the first place.

Toward that end there are so many preparations to make with food, Pascha baskets (sort of like Easter baskets), and preparing yourself spiritually to receive Communion at this time. It is beyond beautiful, it is almost beyond taxing, but then, just when it seems as if nothing is going to fall into place, the thought hits you - it's almost Pascha....!

It's almost Pascha!

No comments: