Holy Week and Easter

And so it has begun, we’re into our blessed Holy Week and Easter time.  It started for us on Palm Sunday.  When the twice a year folks come out in full force to attend church and receive Holy Communion.  Now I have to say that since my kid became a toddler our frequency of attending church has lessened but it doesn’t go unnoticed.  I honestly had no idea that our church had so many children under the age of five that belonged to it.  Where are you all hiding I wanted to shout?  Why don’t you come out more often?  This way we could have programs for the little people.  Since I didn’t feel right shouting this in the middle of a standing room only church where administering communion to those who wanted to partake took over 30 minutes, I did the best I could to keep my toddler quiet.  I know some people don’t bother going with little ones because it is too much work.  I agree, the fight before of why she couldn’t wear her SuperGirl cape on top of her dress was a doozy but in the end, mom won (this one time).  We will be in attendance on Good Friday at the apokathilosi and since the Epitafio is around bedtime over here we’ll be passing on that one.  Although I do have to say, I miss it.  I miss spending every night of the week at church.  There is something to be said as you listen to the Hymn of the Kassiani on Holy Tuesday, receive the Holy Unction on Holy Wednesday and hear the reading of the 12 Gospels on Holy Thursday.  A feeling of calmness comes over me, in my case, and gets me prepared for the Epitafio on Good Friday and then the Anastasi Service which takes place the evening of Holy Saturday into Easter Sunday.

Our traditions may be seen as weird by some or gross by others, but to me they bring comfort.  I’ll never forget watching my mom making magiritsa (my American friends called this lamb gut soup) for the first time.  Or being on the telephone chatting with a friend while my mom tried to crack the lamb’s skull open to get to the “good stuff” as I was told.  Really how do you explain this over the phone to a non-Greek?  Sorry about the banging but we’re just trying to get to the lamb brain. Or what about the cross on the doorway of your home with the Holy Light from Anastasi.  Try explaining that to the fire chief and firefighters who come to your home for a contained fire.  But those of you reading this who are Greek, with a Greek or married to a Greek get it.  Easter wouldn’t be the same without the red eggs, the lambathes, the Xristos Anesti or the lamb and potatoes.  Easter is a celebration of life.  Chirst is risen and may He rise up through each and every one of us.  I wish you all a Blessed Holy Week and a Kalo Pasxa.

Click here for a Magiritsa recipe from my friend Peter Minaki, aka Kalofagas.

Roula

A little ditty about Jack and Diane...no really in all seriousness I'm a daughter, sister, wife and mother. I'm a Greek-American, who has transplanted in Canada. As a first time mom I'm sharing some things as I go along.

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Birthdays, Easter, a Nameday oh my…

Well what a busy two weeks it has been.  Since the last time I wrote we had family visiting to celebrate the little Miss’ birthday. I know everyone says it but seriously I can’t believe how the last year has flown by.  The first year is a whirlwind as you’re sleep deprived, unsure what to do with this tiny human.  The second year is different, you’re still unsure of what to do with this human but from a different perspective.  How to get them to stop jumping on the furniture or wanting to run in the street.  Trying to understand everything that they’re saying to you and helping them not get mad when they can’t communicate.  Trying to make sure you instill in them the important this in life for that age, things like: confidence, sharing, and trying to be an all around well natured child.

This year we had multiple events to celebrate the big day and were so lucky to have family and friends with us.  We went right from the parties to Orthodox Easter or Pascha as we call it.  It is a very special time of year where we are do things a little bit different than our other Christian friends.  First off is the date, Orthodox Easter always falls after Passover.  This year it was over a month after Catholic Easter.  Next year it will be together and then not again for eight years.  We’re not big into the bunny and chocolates.  We’re more into red dyed eggs and candles lit at midnight. Regardless of how you incorporate traditions into your Pascha, I hope it Χριστός Ανέστη!

Lastly we celebrated the Nameday of a special man in our lives, Παππού Γιώργο!  Pappou George and all of the George and Georgias celebrate their Nameday the Monday after Pascha when it falls after April 23rd. So this past Mondya we celebrated him and other cousins, aunts and uncles with those names.  Να σας χαιρόμαστε και να είσαστε πολύχρονη!

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Roula

A little ditty about Jack and Diane...no really in all seriousness I'm a daughter, sister, wife and mother. I'm a Greek-American, who has transplanted in Canada. As a first time mom I'm sharing some things as I go along.

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