And on the Last Day of Easter My True Love Gave to Me...
An open door to Heaven
Victory over sin and death!!
And what beautiful gifts they are.
Aside from the day long prayer service on Good Friday, the Easter celebration on the Saturday night is an absolute must experience. My favourite moment takes place immediately before the mass starts.
All church lights are turned off, and a hush falls on the crowd (and believe me that is one huge achievement for a crowd of Egyptians!) The priest recites a verse from Psalm 24 in a beautiful traditional Coptic tune:
7Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
8Who is this King of glory?
LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.
and then again:
9Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
10Who is this King of glory?
LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory
At this, the lights go on, the bells toll and the priest, deacon and people raise their voices in unison to praise God and announce the Resurresction of our Lord. It's a wonderful, joyful and emotional moment.
Christos Anesti! Alithous Anesti!
Happy Easter to all Eastern Orthodox brothers and sisters.