This year’s Pascha at St. George Serbian Orthodox Church was a joyous celebration of our Lord’s resurrection! Beginning with Paschal Matins, the community gathered in a dark parish and solemnly began the Nocturn service, concluding with the singing of the 9th Ode of the Canon. When the congregation sang, “I shall arise”, the burial shroud of our Lord was lifted from the tomb and as Fr. Aleksa intoned, “When thou didst descend to death O Life Immortal…”, the shroud was taken into the sanctuary to remain on the altar until Ascension.
From the darkness of the Nocturn service, the community went in procession around the church singing of the Resurrection of Christ. Upon reentry, the fully-illumined church was adorned with flowers. Fr. Aleksa proclaimed “Christ is Risen!” in several languages as the Canons were being sung – the languages representing the various ethnicities of our very diverse parish.
The following morning, the church, full of the faithful, marked the conclusion of Holy Week by singing the festal troparion of “Christ is Risen” and receiving unity with Christ through Holy Communion. During his homily, Fr. Aleksa reminded the congregation that life has defeated death and, as a result, our lives and what we do with them now have meaning. What we do, and how we do it, no longer dies and turns to dust eternally – it is ours, and we keep it with us. The service concluded with a joyous celebration at coffee hour with the breaking of eggs and sharing of blessed baskets.
Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen!