View Full Version : Pascha
04-28-2008, 01:27 PM
Yesterday the Eastern Church celebrated Easter (Pascha). Unfortunately, Cadbury eggs disappeared from the store shelves long ago, but that's ok (Orthodox, with the exception of the Finnish Church, always observe Pascha on the first full moon after the Vernal Equinox). The service, which lasted from 11:30 PM to 3ish, was beautiful as always, and was followed by a huge feast as always.
Hadn't been to church in a long time and a number of people warmly greeted me. I avoided the priest, as he's new and I don't want to get into it with him just yet about my sexuality, and hear the same old crap... I've contemplated outing myself to the whole church. I'm sure the responses wouldn't be good.
Christos anesti! Hristos voskres! Christ is risen!
Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia, Alleluia!
The Orthodox Easter service is one of the most beautiful services I have ever witnessed. But as your times suggest, one needs a dose of holy stamina.
In the Episcopal Church (and others, I'm sure), we recite or sing the Pascha nostrum throughout Eastertide. Here it is:
Christ our Passover Pascha nostrum
1 Corinthians 5:7-8; Romans 6:9-11; 1 Corinthians 15:20-22
Christ our Passover has been sacrificed for us; *
therefore let us keep the feast,
Not with old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, *
but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. Alleluia.
Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; *
death no longer has dominion over him.
The death that he died, he died to sin, once for all; *
but the life he lives, he lives to God.
So also consider yourselves dead to sin, *
and alive to God in Jesus Christ our Lord. Alleluia.
Christ has been raised from the dead, *
the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.
For since by a man came death, *
by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.
For as in Adam all die, *
so in Christ shall all be made alive. Alleluia.
05-04-2008, 07:36 AM
I have always admired the richness of the Eastern Church. I find the emphasis of the Eastern church on the majesty of Christ uplifting. Sometimes I think those of us in the Roman church focus too much on the death of Jesus and ignore the fact that he is God among us.
I lived in an Armenian neighborhood when I was in LA. Most of the community was Armenian Orthodox. I never took the opportunity to worship with them, however; the services were in Armenian.
I think those of us in non-affirming churches need to be active and open in our churches. Only by being in the church can we cause real change. The worship of God is not dependent on the attitude of the leaders or members of the church. I am not going to let other people's attitudes keep me from worhiping together with others.
I wish we in the western church followed the same calendar. Then Easter wouldn't have been so ridiculously early this year. Also we could celerate Christmas in January after the commercial holiday is over.
05-06-2008, 12:37 PM
John Milton, the author of Paradise Lost, favored the eastern church over the one in the west. He believed that it was more in tune with the tenets of Christianity.
05-08-2008, 08:14 PM
Pablo, have you ever heard of Eastern-Rite Catholicism? As far as I understand these churches' services are identical to those used in Orthodox churches, except they're in communion with Rome. There are several in your state, may be worth visiting if the opportunity arises. Of course the Greek O. cathedral is in Denver, as well. My parish here is under the Archdiocese of Denver.
This one has a website.
05-08-2008, 09:37 PM
Which gave us the Jesus Prayer, which I practice to this day.
I have a friend- an old friend- who I do not see enough of who is now a brother at the Orthodox Catherdral here in NYC. And yep- he's gay. Now, I dont' really know who he deals with the matter, but I suspect that his being a brother and all kinda nulified the matter of sexuality in a certian respect. That said- I cannot imagine him not being open about hsi sexuality. At this moment in time, I believe he has chosen to be celibate.
As others have noted on this thread, I have witnessed the richness and beauty of the Eastern Orthodox service, and myself and starting 'writing' an icon. The traditions within the church can be very life-giving and affirming. That said - those very same traditions- from my point of view- are more esoteric than they are exoteric. It it- I believe- very much the same sort of situation whatever one's faith is. It becomes a matter of what one does on in practice, bnot necessarity what one 'believes'.
Oh....but I do ramble on!
What I really want to say is this: want to be out to your priest? Go ahead. Stand your holy ground!
And peace with you,
05-11-2008, 02:37 PM
Thank you much, Daniel, for your words. I think I understand what you're saying about practice versus doctrine. I love the church's worship, that's what keeps me there for now, and much of the doctrine I'm ok with as well.
My reservations come into play when I see any form of spiritual abuse or control occurring. There's a big emphasis placed on obedience to a spiritual director, literally one must do whatever he says. And mine threatened me with hell and so forth, and was cruel in other ways. I call that spiritual abuse. This is especially true in monastic life, in which the elders have literally physically abused those under their "care." This certainly isn't true of all such communities but it happens. I cut my ties with this person, but I hesitate to leave because I love the liturgy.
I can be Orthodox and Christian on my terms. I don't need a priest to tell me how to think, because the Being gave me a mind of my own. I mix in whatever I find beauty in, including pagan (Druid/Wiccan) elements.
As far as God, if he's really as loving as people say he is, I think he would understand. I cannot worship a God who would make someone gay just to torture him/her throughout life with the demand of celibacy and loneliness, in order to obtain a pass to some invisible cosmic Disneyland, the price of falling being an eternal barbecue. That's where I'm at spiritually. I don't have it all figured out, but I don't think any of us do, so that's ok. :)
God bless you, peace be with your spirit. Sorry for the rant! ;)
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