April 4, 2010

I’ve been thinking about Pascha for many months – ever since I learned that we would be at church at midnight!

We arrived at church around 11:30pm as we wanted to make sure that we were there for the procession. It was packed. We could barely make it in the door. And once we were in, we really couldn’t see too much. As with the Holy Friday Vespers, the mood and music was somber. The temple was very dark.

After about thirty minutes we had to go outside because someone was getting cranky. A few minutes later the procession began.

The people leave the dark church building singing, carrying banners, icons, candles, and the Gospel. The procession circles the outside of the church and returns to the closed front doors. [1]

As we process around the church we each hold a candle and sing

Thy Resurrection, O Christ our Savior, the angels in heaven sing, enable us here on earth to glorify Thee in purity of heart.

And then…

The doors are opened and the faithful re-enter. The church is brightly lit and adorned with flowers. It is the heavenly bride and the symbol of the empty tomb. [1]

We didn’t last much longer than that, unfortunately. We were home shortly after 1am. Next year we hope to make it until the feast afterwards – which usually begins around 2:30am.



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