It’s getting late as I sit, resting before heading to church. Charlestown will soon be asleep with only the liquor store down the street open.
Ever since we became Orthodox I have used this time before heading to our midnight service as a time of reflection. It has changed through the years. When we first became Orthodox, we still had kids living with us and as the rest of the family rested, I would write. Now they are all adults in various parts of the country and world and like Christmas, I miss their presence and the collective excitement that we had for several years.
In this Orthodox journey, our lives are now marked by Pascha and Pentecost, by Dormition and Nativity, by Theophany and the beginning of Great Lent. It has taken some getting used to, but I am beginning to love it. To love the rhythms of the church calendar, the Great Feasts and the more minor ones. In a world that I have found changes with the wind, a world where worldwide disasters accompany personal tragedies, I am learning the value of something as solid as this calendar and the faith that orders it.
Far more than a calendar is the reality of being a part of a bigger story, for it is sobering and freeing. To be a part of a story where the central theme is sacrificial love is extraordinary, and though I try, I will not fully grasp it’s fullness and mystery until I enter eternity.
So I willingly put aside regular bedtime routines entering into the biggest event of the entire church calendar and celebrate Pascha at Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church. Because this love story and the God who orchestrated it is worth celebrating.
Are there any who are devout lovers of God?
Let them enjoy this beautiful bright festival!
Are there any who are grateful servants?
Let them rejoice and enter into the joy of their Lord!
Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!
Christ is Risen, and the evil ones are cast down!
Christ is Risen, and the angels rejoice!
Christ is Risen, and life is liberated!Select Portions from St. John Chrysostom Easter Sermon