|This Pascha marks my 132nd time at an Orthodox Service|
Walking into the service a bit late, I arrived in near total darkness, listening to Reader John chant a Psalm. The choir chanted more hymns and then I heard the beautiful solo voice of the choir director, Reader Tim, chanting "Come Receive the Light from the Light," and Fr Gary opened the doors with his single candle. The nice effect was temporarily ruined by a mistake of a young altar server who flipped on the electric lights in the Nave but a quick glance Fr. Gary and it was dark again. (I can understand why the boy made the mistake. It is always the practice of this parish that when Fr. Gary opens the Royal doors, the light goes on.)
Before long everyone's candle was lit and we all processed outside and began the thrice walk around of our Church. I walked quietly as I heard the choir chant as we made away around the building. The second time around, the bells began to ring and by the third time around, Fr Gary proclaimed from the front doors that Christ is Risen! We made our way into the Nave and the joy of the people was palpable. Everyone giving each other Pascha kisses and proclaiming that Christ is Risen! The ever-gracious Tami was happily surprised to see me there and gave me a warm greeting!
It was a great night which I wish everyone could experience. I was able to make a recording of the evening. The battery in the recorder died two hours into the three hour service but I was able to put together a 9 minute excerpt of the evening which includes bells, hymns, the the catechetical sermon of St. John Chrysostom.. At the end of the recording you can hear us chuckle a bit. Why, you ask? Well, as is the practice, Fr. Gary announced that Christ is Risen in different languages and he awaits the reply from Faithful Indeed, He is Risen. When Fr. Gary announced the Resurrection in German, only one person could be heard enthusiastically replying and to me, forgive me, it sounded like I was watching a pep rally in an old World War II movie. It was funny. Here is a link to the nine minute excerpt.
It was such a blessing to worship with Christ's Church and celebrate His glorious Resurrection.
In a couple of days, I will blog about my Bright Week Service. See you then!
Christ is Risen; He is Risen indeed! Alleluia.