Holy Week, Greek Orthodox Easter – Bringing Light

Greek Orthodox Easter – Bringing Light

Music; Ambience: hymn, Greek Orthodox, choir singing,

This Saturday, the celebration of Greek Orthodox Easter culminates in a midnight service. For many Greeks, it’s the most important holiday of the year. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. We’re in Holy Trinity Cathedral in New Orleans, the oldest Greek Orthodox Church in the Americas talking with Father Anthony Stratos.

FAS: “On Saturday night, we start out with hymns from the Friday night service, until we get to about midnight. At midnight, all the lights and all the candles are extinguished in the church. The only light is that which is burning on the altar. And from that light, the priest takes a pascal candle and carries the light to the Royal Gate. Now, the Royal Gate is the opening between the area where the congregation sits and the Holy Altar. And what will happen is, the priest will lower the candle so that either altar boys, or leaders from the community, will light their candles from this candle, and that will go throughout the congregation. So little by little, you see this wave of candlelight spreading throughout the congregation. And this is the only light, other than natural light from the moon and the stars – this is the only light inside the church. And as we chant that hymn, we go out the front door of the church. The whole congregation will go out of the front of the church, and the priest will read a Resurrection account from the Gospels, standing in front of the open door of the church. Because, just as the altar represents the throne of Christ, it also represents the tomb of Christ. And in extenuation, the church itself represents the tomb of Christ. So, we’re standing in front of the tomb, which is now open. The doors are all open and traditionally in Greece, and elsewhere, all the doors of the church remain open for the forty days.”

Pulse of the Planet is presented with support provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities). I’m Jim Metzner.

Holy Week, Greek Orthodox Easter - Bringing Light

Beautiful hymns mark the celebration of Easter at the first Greek Orthodox Church in the Americas.
Air Date:05/02/2002
Scientist:
Transcript:

Greek Orthodox Easter - Bringing Light

Music; Ambience: hymn, Greek Orthodox, choir singing,

This Saturday, the celebration of Greek Orthodox Easter culminates in a midnight service. For many Greeks, it's the most important holiday of the year. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. We're in Holy Trinity Cathedral in New Orleans, the oldest Greek Orthodox Church in the Americas talking with Father Anthony Stratos.

FAS: "On Saturday night, we start out with hymns from the Friday night service, until we get to about midnight. At midnight, all the lights and all the candles are extinguished in the church. The only light is that which is burning on the altar. And from that light, the priest takes a pascal candle and carries the light to the Royal Gate. Now, the Royal Gate is the opening between the area where the congregation sits and the Holy Altar. And what will happen is, the priest will lower the candle so that either altar boys, or leaders from the community, will light their candles from this candle, and that will go throughout the congregation. So little by little, you see this wave of candlelight spreading throughout the congregation. And this is the only light, other than natural light from the moon and the stars - this is the only light inside the church. And as we chant that hymn, we go out the front door of the church. The whole congregation will go out of the front of the church, and the priest will read a Resurrection account from the Gospels, standing in front of the open door of the church. Because, just as the altar represents the throne of Christ, it also represents the tomb of Christ. And in extenuation, the church itself represents the tomb of Christ. So, we're standing in front of the tomb, which is now open. The doors are all open and traditionally in Greece, and elsewhere, all the doors of the church remain open for the forty days."

Pulse of the Planet is presented with support provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities). I'm Jim Metzner.