Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Christ is Risen! Pascha Vigil makes this my 100th time at this Parish!

Fr Gary proclaims, Christ is Risen!
Yes, I went home after the liturgy in the morning and took a nap! I was glad I did so that I could be awake for the Pascha Vigil! I loved that I got to sit next to Jim Martin (or Patrick, as he is now named.) In fact, sitting next to him at around 1130pm and chatting a little bit, I learned something. Someone was reading from the book of Acts but what Jim told me was that they have "Grave watch" in which, from Friday night on, people come into the Church and "stand watch" by reading from the Scriptures. I hadn't realized that!

Jim had a candle in his hand waiting for the time Fr. Gary brings out the light. It turns out though that the newly illumined was called upon to process with the Icons so Jim, Tiffany and Ben didn't get to hold candles as we marched around the outside of the Church three times.  It was much windier last year and candles didn't last but three seconds but this year I actually made it around three times with my candle still lit. I did have to cup my hand over it though because there was a slight breeze. When we were done and Fr Gary was in front of the front door, I noticed that some of the faithful needed a light so I offered my candle. Well, one girl accidently  put my flame out and said, "Oh, I'm so sorry!" but I just chuckled. ☺My phone doesn't take the best pictures so Fr. Gary looks all a blur in the front door but it kind of looks cool. I mean, he is all white, an almost angelic figure, proclaiming that Christ is Risen!  I love how the bells chime as we make our third trip around the Church and this is the first time I noticed all four bell ringers had ear protection. I guess that makes sense. The bells are louder than a rock concert, no doubt. I wonder if the neighbors mind?

When we came back into the Church some ushers collected our now extinguished candles. I did notice how during the entire service, there was one girl who had her candle lit. She kept leaving the nave for the narthex. I think it was to get another candle because her short candle was lit for the entire two and a half hours! I guess some people like their candles.

The service was beautiful and I thoroughly enjoyed it although I must say that some of the admonishments I heard in sermons on Ancient Faith Radio rang true. You see, all during Great Lent I heard sermons on how we should keep the fast in order to make the Pascha Celebration more meaningful. Even though I am not even a catechumen, let alone Orthodox, last year I did some form of fasting and last year's Pascha celebration was truly inspirational. This year, I confess, I didn't even try and I "felt" the difference.  I'm not saying I was depressed or anything - How can anyone be depressed when all I see are joyous faces proclaiming Christ is Risen- how can I be depressed when, with great joy, I saw three of my friends partake of the Eucharist along with the rest of the Faithful? Yet, I could tell the difference- I wasn't as prepared as I should be. 

This Pascha celebration marks the 100th time I attended an Orthodox Service I have to wonder, which number service will be the one in which I am a received as a catechumen?  I ask for your prayers regarding that.

Christ is Risen; Indeed, He is Risen! 


  1. Indeed he is Risen!
    What a blessing. Our procession (and in fact Holy Friday's as well) was unseasonably warm, and probably the first time I didn't have to worry about the candle going out ;)
    In some Orthodox areas, it is traditional to bring the lit candle home from Pascha and use it to light your icon corner's candle, or alternately, to make a cross on the ceiling of your doorway with the smoke from the candle (I've also heard people do that with their candle from Holy Friday night or from Holy Thursday's 12 Gospels reading - I think it's regional)

    1. mimi,
      I love how in Orthodoxy their are "little traditions" that can vary from culture to culture and, I imagine, from parish to parish.