The Great Feast of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ – Easter or the Holy Pascha, represents the Idn Poker88 starting point of Orthodox understanding of the sanctification of time. It stands at the center of Orthodox liturgical life, at the center of that segment of time that the Orthodox Church calls a year. We are talking about an experience that has its origins in apostolic times.
In the world governed by time and death, resurrection becomes an expression of life without end. Many religions and philosophies confess “the immortality of the soul”, but the Church differs from all these since it understands immortality not as an inexplicable form of “survival” after death.
It is, rather, understood as a matter of overcoming death through the relationship with God. As far as the Church is concerned death is a form of separation from God, a rejection of association with God, a denial of life as being love and a communion of love.
Resurrection of Christ does not concern only Christ himself. This event occurred for our sake and concerns each and every one of us. In this world such as it is, in a single moment in history, there appeared a Somebody who stood above death while remaining within the framework of our time.
God and man, God-man &&(Theanthropos)&& Jesus Christ, pulled human nature through death and resurrection and by doing so opened our path to eternity. All those who make God rather than created nature foundation of their existence, all those that grow into His Body – the Church, prepare themselves to participate in the joy and exultation of the Kingdom of Christ.
The Holy Pascha
This participation in joy starts already in this life only to achieve its fullness in the one that is yet to come. Christian life is the life of resurrection, and resurrection itself is the focal point of Orthodoxy, the very essence of its entire experience. This is why the Orthodox world regards Easter as the happiest feast of all, the Feast of all feasts, and every Sunday of the year is dedicated to the Resurrection of Christ.
Easter is celebrated each year at a different date, but always on Sunday. The day of celebration is connected to a calculation in relation to the spring equinox and the first subsequent full moon in order to correspond to the 14. day of Nissan (month in the Jewish calendar) which was the day when Christ died (Good or Holy Friday), and the first following Sunday.
At the occasion of Easter matins the priest and the faithful go around the church in a procession three times, while church bells ring. The procession then halts in front of the closed door of the church. After censing the faithful and the closed door, and after the troparion “Christ is Risen” has been sung, the priest enters the church bearing the Cross and the Gospel Book in his arms.
He then walks through the Royal Door, the main entrance on the altar-screen, into the altar section of the church. The faithful follow the priest into a well-illuminated church and, after matins and the service of first hour, the Easter Liturgy is being celebrated. It is the most joyous service of the year. The faithful take the Holy Eucharist, the Great Lent is over, and the first food that the faithful will usually take to break the fast would be painted Easter eggs.
Easter eggs are painted in memory of the event when Saint Mary Magdalene – the Myrrh-barer, traveled to Rome to visit Emperor Tiberius. As a token of her special consideration for the Emperor she presented him with a red egg and saluted him with words: “Christ is Risen!” The red paint symbolizes Savior’s innocently shed blood on Golgotha, but the red color is also the color of Resurrection.
The egg itself is a symbol of renewal – renewal of nature and life. Just as the Yule Log contributes that special something to the general feeling of contentment on Christmas Eve, so does the red Easter egg bring happiness on Easter Day both to those giving it away and those receiving it.
On one side, the entire life of the Church is a ceaseless festivity and, on the other, that life represents a preparation for the final feast, for the fulfillment of all – the entire world, in God. Therefore, every feast day, every festivity of the Church rests upon a twofold model of preparation and fulfillment.
We do not arrive to a feast day, let us say Easter Day, just simply by following the dates in the calendar. We arrive to it through the feat of fasting, as we also do when Christmas is concerned. Every feast day is preceded by preparations – fasting, communal and private praying … This is how we learn to discover the significance of festivities, which is living participation. Without preparation there can be no participation.
Earliest Christians were celebrating the Resurrection every Sunday but towars the end of the 1st century an annual observance of Christ’s death and resurrection became customary and was named Pascha.
This is a Greek name for the Jewesh festival of unleavened bread, Pesach (14th of Nisan – first month of the Jewish lunar year, April-May by our calendar) which is celebrated in commemoration of the Exodus from Egypt.
The Jews celebrate the God’s punishment of the Egyptians by which he saved their first-born and demonstrated his love for the chosen people. At the time of Pesach. Jews from all sides of the world used to assemble by the Temple of Jerusalem to attend special rites of purification.
So that’s a little explanation from Easter that we often hear. Hopefully with the Easter day we can all get blessings and favors from one God. Hopefully with this we will all be given endless health and hopefully we will be kept away from all problems.
Don’t forget to often give thanks and pray to God so that we can always bless and protect him. Don’t forget to go to church often so that we can all be clean from all our sins so far. Thanks.