Christ is Risen!

Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death,

And upon those in the tombs bestowing life!





  1. Mary says

    Just returned home at 4:00 AM, Sunday morning, April 27, to read this message from a friend. I think all of you can relate, as you are probably just arriving home too after the Great Pascha celebration, our shared rejoicing in Christ’s Harrowing of Hell, as most of the world slumbers. It really isn’t Greek Easter. Is is the Resurrection of Christ and Salvation of the world! Birds are already waking now and joining our morning song.

    God Bless All of You! Christ Is Risen!

    Subject: Greek Easter

    “Greek Easter” Essay, by Rita Wilson
    Date: Thu, 17 Apr 2008 12:42:38 +0000

    Actress Rita Wilson, whose mother and father both were born in Greece , is widely credited with landing Nia Vardalos a movie deal for ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding.’ Wilson and her actor husband Tom Hanks had their own ‘Big Fat Greek Wedding’ in 1988. They have two children.

    Posted by Rita Wilson on April 8, 2008 12:57 PM

    A piece worthy of sharing …

    Why Easter is Greek to Me: Xristos Anesti!
    by Rita Wilson

    Once every few years, Greek Easter falls the same week as ‘American Easter,’ as it was called when I was growing up.

    In order for ‘Greek Easter’ to be celebrated the same week as ‘American Easter,’ Passover has to have been celebrated already. We Greeks don’t do Easter until after Passover, because how can you have Easter BEFORE Passover. Jesus went to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover, after all. Unless it is one of the years when the two holidays align. Like last year.

    Here are some of the things that non-Greeks may not know about Greek Easter: We don’t do bunnies. We don’t do chocolate. We don’t do pastels.

    We do lamb, sweet cookies, and deep red. The lamb is roasted and not chocolate, the sweet cookies are called Koulorakia and are twisted like a braid, and our Easter eggs are dyed one color only: blood red. There is no Easter Egg hunt. There is a game in which you crack your red egg against someone else’s red egg hoping to have the strongest egg, which would indicate you getting a lot of good luck.

    Holy Week, for a Greek Orthodox, means you clear your calendar, you don’t make plans for that week at all because you will be in church every day, and you fast. Last year, in addition to not eating red meat and dairy before communion, my family also gave up sodas for the 40-day Lenten period.

    During one particularly str essful moment, there were many phone calls amongst our kids as to whether or not a canned drink called TING, made with grapefruit juice and carbonated water was, in fact, a soda and not a juice, which our then 10-year-old decided it was, so we had a Ting-less Lent.

    No matter where I find my self in the world I never miss Easter, or as we call it, Pascha. I have celebrated in Paris , London , New York City, Los Angeles , and in Salinas , California at a small humble church that was pure and simple.

    When we were kids, our parents would take us, and now as parents ourselves we take our children to many of the Holy Week services including the Good Friday service where you mourn the death of Jesus by walking up to the Epitaphio, which reperesents the dead body of Christ, make your cross, kiss the Epitaphio, and marvel at how it was decorated with a thousand glorious flowers, rose petals and smells like incense.

    Some very pious people will crawl under the Epitaphio. I have always been so moved to see this. There is no self- consciousness in this utter act of faith. There is no embarrassment to show symbolic sorrow at the death of our Saviour.
    At a certain point in the Good Friday service, the Epitaphio is carried outside by the deacons of the church, as if they are pall bearers, followed by worshippers carrying lit candles protected from dripping on your clothes and on others by having a red plastic cup that sits below the flame to catch the wax drippings. Every Greek person knows all too well the smell of burning hair.

    One time, in London , I smelled something and turned to look at where the smell might be coming from, only to be horrified that it was coming form me and my head was on fire. But I digress.

    It is somber and quiet as we follow the Epitaphio, in candlelight, from the altar to the outdoors, in order for it to circle the church before it returns back to the altar. We s ing beautiful lamentations that make your heart break with their pure expression of sadness and hope.

    One of my favorite services during Easter is Holy Unction. This happens on the Wednesday of Holy Week. Holy Unction is a sacrament. It is for healing of our ills, physical and spiritual. It is preparing us for confession and communion. This sacrament has always been so humbling to me.

    When you approach the priest for Holy Unction, you bow your head and as he says a prayer and asks you yo