Sunday, April 12, 2009

Pascha at the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Mother of God

The most awaited day of the year finally arrived. During the day, the weather was nice. Towards the evening, the winds picked up however, it was still nice. Parishioners began arriving well before 6pm. Car after car brought people and Easter baskets. As we arrived inside, the aroma of ham, klobasky, hrudky, eggs, beets with horseradish and yes, even paskas, was very apparent, especially since we were just finishing Lent – a time of fasting to prepare ourselves for this “day of days”. As parishioners and guests arrived, they placed their baskets on the side pews to leave the steps to the altar unobstructed. For those of you who are familiar with our Easter services, you know how beautiful they are. At the altar, Bishop John was the main celebrant and Fr. Andrew Kormanik and Fr. Ron Comeau concelebrated. Fr. Fetsco was also present. Members of the Women’s Auxiliary prepared the altar and the “tomb” for the plascenica. Everything looked beautiful for the arrival of the Risen Christ. Bishop John and the priests changed their vestments from red to “bright” (white) mid way through the service. The ladies also changed altar cloths to white. When Bishop John and the clergy along with the parishioners processed outside, the winter seemed to return. The winds howled and the temperature dropped. However, we braved the weather to sing “Christos Voskrese”, and following Bishop John’s knock on the closed doors to the church, we re-entered the church and continued with the service.

In his homily, Bishop John spoke to us of this most joyous time of our liturgical year and reminded us to continue to live our lives with the Risen Lord as our guide.

The time finally came when everyone brought their baskets to the steps in front of the altar to have our food blessed. Baskets were uncovered, candles lit and Bishop John began the blessing of the food. When he was all done, Bishop John wished everyone a Blessed Easter on behalf of himself, and on behalf of the pastor, Fr. Andrew, and also Fr. John and Fr. Ron. Following the blessing, everyone hurried home to share the Easter meal with families and friends.

Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen! Christos Voskrese! Voistinu Voskrese!

By Mary Siroky - Snell

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