Orthodox Easter celebrated Sunday
Orthodox Christians around the Mon Valley will be celebrating their holiest of holidays this weekend.
Sunday marks the Easter holiday on the Julian calendar.
“The Orthodox use the Julian calendar, while other religions use the Gregorian calendar,” said the Rev. Fred Pfeil, pastor of Monessen's St. Michael Orthodox Church.
“It is indeed confusing for some, why there are two different days. Next year, both fall on the same day.”
Great and Holy Friday services began 9 a.m. today with the Royal Hours. At 3 p.m., the Unnailing Vespers will take place with the Lamentations at 6:30 p.m.
“I don't like to dwell on the ethnic thing,” Pfeil said. “Every Sunday that we worship is considered to be a little Easter.”
At 11 p.m., the 65 parishioners of St. Michael will celebrate Pascha, the Greek version of the Jewish Passover. Each person receives a candle and the church is darkened, Pfeil said.
“It's a sight to see,” he added.
Pfeil said that once the church is darkened, he emerges from the altar with one lit candle with which everyone worshipping lights their candles as Pfeil sings the words, “Come take light from the light that is never overtaken by night...”
“We assume that when Christ burst out of the tomb there is a burst of light,” Pfeil said.
After the candles are lit, the parishioners will move outside of the church, where Pfeil will read the gospel announcing Christ's resurrection, “Christ is risen from the dead trampling down death by death ... and the palm goes in the tombs and upon those in the tombs bestowing life.”
“This is the song for all Orthodox Christians,” said Pfeil, beginning to chuckle. “No matter where you're from. Now, we all use different tombs, those are the words that are sung.”
The services conclude Sunday with the Agape Vespers, in which the gospel reading depicts the first appearance of Christ, after resurrection, to his disciples.
St. Michael Orthodox is located at 1201 Patton Ave.
Jeremy Sellew is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 724-684-2667.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.