. . . the angel said
to the women, "Do not be afraid; for I know that you seek Jesus
who was crucified. He is not here; for he has risen, as he said.
Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his
disciples that he has risen from the dead. . ."
It's Pascha, Orthodox
"Easter," and this is the first Pascha since my conversion
19 years ago last Christmas that I have not only celebrated in my
San Jose parish, but the only one which I have not attended the pascha
midnight liturgy, which begins at 10 p.m. in San Jose and 10:45 here
in Belfast. As I am not driving here, I have decided not to walk the
half hour trek to the church at that hour, and return home around
I have been
warned not to make that walk after dark and I have already had a stone
thrown at me on one of my walks back home after church. It hit the
vehicle next to me about a foot from my head, and I can only hope
that whoever threw it meant it to miss, rather than that he was just
a poor shot. The route between our house on Crumlin Road and the church
goes directly through a "peace fence" with a "no man's
land" between two sections of fence separated far enough that
most people wouldn't be able to throw stones well enough to hit others
on the other side. There are burned-out residences on both sides of
Above is a photo of the meeting place of my current
Orthodox parish, St. Ignatius in Belfast, as seen from the back, on
Cliftonville Road. The parish is leasing a former Church of Ireland
(Anglican) church (St. James'), which resembles a small cathedral
inside. The Orthodox attending seldom exceed three dozen for a Sunday
liturgy. Belfast has many large old churches that have not many more
attending regularly than that, and the Orthodox parish is only about
a decade old. Part of the Antiochian European archdiocese, and established
by Irish converts from Protestant and Catholic backgrounds, it serves
Orthodox of all jurisdictions who are living in the Northern Ireland
a coward. But at least I has able to attend a vesperal divine liturgy
on this Holy Saturday. Though it did not include the candlighting
ceremony and the rush procession of the midnight liturgy, its Gospel
reading was on the resurrection and the eucharist was celebrated.
two short videos that capture highlights of the pascha services as
they are celebrated in my California parish, though both of these
videos, embedded from YouTube, are from other congregations.
video begins with the dramatic candle lighting in a totally darkened
church and traces highlights of the entire Pascha worship cycle. It
also includes the English translation of the fourth-century Pascha
sermon preached by St. John Chrysostom, which is read every Pascha
in Orthodox churches around the world.
The second video, showing the entrance into the temple after the candlelight
procession, is from a Greek church. And though more Greek is used than
our church uses, the dramatic exchange that opens the gates of the church
and the melody of the hymn sung are the same (and the hymn is sung a
second time in English after a first rendering in Greek).
Though Christ's victory over death was won only by way of the Cross,
the church does not dwell for long on the death, the victory is so
much more vital and overshadowing.
§ § §
my mission to Northern Ireland in your prayers. You can read my overview
of this undertaking here.
My residence/postal address is 227 Crumlin Road, Belfast, Northern
Ireland BT14 7DY, UK. Mobile: 07772197118.
pay money to have your family tree traced; go into politics
and your opponents will do it for you.
A dog is better than I am, for he has love and he does not judge.
Abba Xanthios, Orthodox elder/monk
Nanty Glo Home Page and all its departments are for and by the
whole Blacklick Valley community. Your feedback and written
or artistic contributions, also notification about access problems, are
welcomed. Click here
letters to the Home Page will be considered for publication
in the Forum departments unless they are specifically labeled
"Not for Publication."
Jon Kennedy's recent book,
C.S. Lewis Themes and Threads,is available
for purchase at $2.99. Purchase supports the author's
to Belfast, Ireland.Click
download it directly to your Kindle or your Kindle bookshelf
on your PC or smartphone.