Last Sunday we celebrated the resurrection of our Lord, Pascha!
Saturday I had to work a 12 hour shift. I left around 6:45 full of excitement. For that night I was to experience Easter as an Eastern Christian.
I had a basic understanding of what was to transpire. As you know understanding and knowing are two separate things. That night was a night of firsts. It was my first time experiencing Pascha. This was the first Pascha for our church. It was also the fist time any church in our area celebrated in this old Tradition.
I thought about comparing Easter practices East and West. Lucky for you I have just changed my mind on this. I can do that because this is my blog. Also this blog is a journal of my thoughts. Very little editing is done to it. It is my hope that it would be as pure as possible what I am truly thinking the at the time of writing.
The most profound aspect to what transpired that night was not realised until a conversation at a cookout Sunday afternoon. Father and I were sharing thoughts and talking about the events of holy week. We talked about our procession around the town square and court house. (Quick side note. Our parish is a mission parish. At the moment we are in a store front.)
The town is the county seat and has one of those old monstrous castle looking court houses. We made our way around the court house. Singing hymns, carrying candles, icons, and other sacred items one would carry in a procession.
The significance of this procession is multi faceted. For the sake of time I am going to focus on Orthodox Christianity in the frontier. What I had the privilege in taking part of was something that has never been done here before. Prayers and hymns were chanted for the first time. Processions were made on fresh soil. The true faith was displayed for all to see. The fullness of the Gospel is being represented in this small Western town.
Many do not know who we are. They have never heard of Orthodox Christianity. Like the flame that burns bright on Pascha so do we in our little town. It is our mission and responsibility to this community to share the fullness of the Gospel.
Let us move forward with a spirit of love, and a heart of prayer.