"Christ is risen from the dead,
trampling down death by death,
and upon those in the tombs bestowing life!"
-Troparion of Pascha
The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the center of the Christian faith. Twelve weeks of preparation precede it. This is made up of pre-lenten Sundays, Great Lent, and Holy Week. The faithful try to make this long journey with repentance, forgiveness, reconciliation, prayer, fasting, almsgiving, and study. When the feast finally arrives, it is celebrated with a collection of services combined as one.
To Byzantine Christians, the celebration of Pascha reveals the mystery of the eighth day. It is not merely an historical reenactment of the event of Christ's Resurrection. It is a way to experience the new creation of the world a taste of the new and unending day of the Kingdom of God.
This new day is conveyed to the faithful in the length of the paschal services, in the repetition of the paschal order for all the services of Bright Week, and in the special paschal features retained in the services for the forty days until Ascension. Forty days are, as it were, treated as one day.
To see pictures of this feast celebrated at our monastery, click here