Living Easter as an Orthodox Christian




To this intimate word - I must warn you - I will confer a tone of confession. A theologian of Romanian origin, I completed my training in Orthodox theology with a rich ecumenical journey in Switzerland.

As a child, I did not receive a catechetical education. However, it made me realize that at Easter time everything was vibrating with life and shining with light. In the absence of my father, my memories of Easter night are marked above all by the attention paid to the "sleeping ones”, as it is customary in Romanian to replace the word "dead" by "asleep".

I remember my family's enthusiasm for bringing a candle to the cemetery in the middle of the night after the service of the Resurrection. The flaming tombs made me think that one day everything will be filled with light and the "sleeping ones" will wake up. This childhood nighttime experience later found the theological meaning of Easter night.

The sparkling and sonorous beauty of the divine liturgy attempts to reveal the mystery of the Resurrection and to spread the Light of Life on all creation and on all humans.

Before entering into the joy of the Resurrection, the liturgical rites of Holy Saturday touch me greatly. Talking of a watery upheaval and a paradoxical combustion, several hymns commemorate the Jewish Passover and glorify the Lord, on the one hand for the crossing of the Red Sea (Exodus 15,1-19), on the other hand for the miracle of the young men in the furnace (Daniel 3,1-88).

“Day of the Resurrection! Peoples, let us shine with joy: it is the Passover, the Lord's Passover! From death to life, from earth to heaven, Christ our God guides us: let us sing the victory of the Lord.” (Paschal praise of the Orthodox Church)

In today's ecological context, the song of the creatures (Daniel 3: 46-83) reminds us of the importance of blessing the works of the Lord. Holy Saturday introduces me to a close relationship between silence in the face of the mystery of the Death of Jesus and the song of glory anticipating the joy of the Risen Christ.

Orthodoxy, like a mountain route, offers a vast liturgical journey that begins with Great Lent to reach the summit during the night of Resurrection. This path which leads us towards Easter is always guided by the light of Life shining from above and gives way to panoramic views on the history of salvation, on the biblical episodes, on the testimony of people on their way towards God in order to reach the beauty of Creation.

This year, the acclaim, well known in the Orthodox tradition “Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed!” will only be heard on May 2. Although some Orthodox churches have accepted the Gregorian calendar, the calculation of the date of Easter is done according to the Julian calendar for the majority of Orthodox. “Eager to find the unity of Christians, I look forward to the day when we can unite in acclaiming the salvation of the Resurrection”, says Stefan Constantinescu.

How do you live Easter - Would you share your story? 

The Christian family is the largest and most diverse demographic on the planet and every unique voice counts. This Easter will you be a witness to the resurrection? 

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