(on three hours of sleep)
It never gets old, does it? After entering that time warp of Holy Thursday, Friday and Saturday – fighting the grumpiness that set in precisely because it was Holy Thursday, Friday and Saturday and it felt like everything in this world wanted me to forget, overlook the cross (to stay home and putz around) – we were starving for Pascha.
Bleary eyed and all decked out in colors bright and celebratory (some women in our parish have taken to festive hat wearing on Pascha, which I most certainly condone, and am tempted to follow suit next year), we arrived at 11:30 pm for the Feast of all Feasts. I was nauseous with exhaustion, hungry from fasting, brimming with excitement. The Pascha service is packed to overflowing with truth and a fullness you can sink your teeth into. This is why I am! I'm reminded, which is a powerful realization. I so needed that! I always need it.
When St. John Chrysostom's Paschal Homily was read a rush of relief and renewed determination washed over me:
O Death, where is thy sting?
O Hell, where is thy victory?
Christ is risen, and thou art overthrown!
Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen!
Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice!
Christ is risen, and life reigns!
Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in the grave.
For Christ, being risen from the dead,
Is become the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep.
To Him be glory and dominion
Unto ages of ages.
(whew! I get teary just copying and pasting that)
All that night and into the morning, we reveled in the Resurrection, in the breaking of the fast, in our love and appreciation for one another:
At 5:00 am, we crashed into our beds only to awake at 8:00 am and begin celebrating all over again. Sunday was a happy, happy day – an amalgam of laughter, champagne, fellowship and meat…and chocolate.
But I was nostalgic as well – a little achy, missing those friends, family members and godparents scattered here and there and everywhere. I wished, as always, I could have magically gathered them all up into one place, into my old creaky house, that we might sing "Christ is Risen!" together.
I am still thinking about you, still missing you. Below is a Paschal Greeting from our family to yours (it will make you wonder, I'm sure, why we don't just get a bus and take our show on the road Partridge Family style)! And now I'm off to recover – it's going to take awhile.
Christ is Risen!!! Rejoice!