Christ is risen! Truly He is risen!
1) The Holy Fire 2022
This is from Jerusalem earlier today. * We talked about the Holy Fire in Post 325.
- I’m publishing on Saturday the 23rd.
The fire arrives at about 2 hours 10 minutes, though you might want to arrive a little earlier so you can get a place in the crowd.
Oh dear God in Heaven, this is so wonderful it makes me cry. To think that I was once a repressed Protestant.
2) Agape Vespers
I almost forgot: there is one more Paschal service. Most clergy would probably just as soon forget it. It comes when they think they just cannot handle another service…, but they do. Blessedly, it is short – at least compared to everything else in Holy Week.
Why “Agape Vespers”, the “Vespers of Love”? I don’t know
In some churches this Vespers is served in the evening, where it belongs, but in many places it’s scheduled earlier, often at the time of the usual Sunday morning Divine Liturgy, in order not to turn away any visitors who don’t know what’s happening and have come for Liturgy.
The Gospel reading (John 20:19-25) tells of Christ’s Pascha night appearance: Jesus said to them… “Peace be to you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” (We’ll talk about that on Friday.) And how the apostle Thomas was not with them: “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and place my finger in the mark of the nails, and place my hand in His side, I will not believe.”
This sets the stage for Christ’s appearance a week later (our Gospel reading next Sunday), and how “doubting Thomas” became “believing Thomas”.
This Gospel is usually read in as many languages as possible by many people, a sign that from the beginning Jesus Christ has sent His Gospel of Salvation, that He has overcome death and hell, out to all the world.
This video is from 2020, during the Pandemic, so people are reading from their homes. Clever!
As I write this, I just (4 pm CDT) watched Pascha arrive at Midnight in Athens. Oh, the bells! and “Christos anesti! Aleithos anesti!” a thousand or so times.
Why do I say “rats!”? Because my wife says I have to wait till Midnight CDT to break the Fast, and she knows.
OK, I’m done – and believe me, after all I’ve written this past week, it’s hard to stop my fingers from typing.
Let’s have someone else take it from here:
4) Rita Wilson!
Besides being a whole lot prettier than most of the inhabitants of this Blog, she is a fine American actress who has appeared in many movies including Sleepless in Seattle, Runaway Bride, and also produced My Big Fat Greek Wedding – which, if you haven’t seen, do!
She was raised Greek Orthodox and has been married to Tom Hanks, about which nothing needs to be said. Except that the two have been married for over thirty years, and that he became Orthodox when he married her, and the two take our blessed Faith seriously – as you will see in what follows: