Thursday, April 12, 2012

Easter QuickTakes

1. I love chant. That is all.

2. We Byzantine Catholics greet each other with 'Christ is risen' until Ascension, so be prepared to respond just in case I bump into you...

Christ is risen - Indeed He is risen - in different languages
Albanian: Krishti Ungjall! Vertete Ungjall!
Arabic: Al Maseeh Qam! Haqqan Qam!
Armenian: Christos harjav i merelotz! Orhniale harutjun Christosi!
Byelorussian: Khristos Uvoskros! Zaprowdu Uvoskros!
Chinese: Helisituosi fuhuole! Queshi fuhuole!
Coptic: Pikhirstof aftonf! Khen o methni aftonf!
Czech: Kristus vstal zmrtvy'ch! Skutec ne vstal!
Danish: Kristus er opstanden! Ja, sandelig opstanden!
Dutch: Christus is opgestaan! Hij is waarlijk opgestaan!
English: Christ is Risen! Indeed, He is Risen! many more languages at Byzcath.org

3. I didn't have time to bake the traditional sweet bread ("pascha') for the blessed baskets so I bought two loaves of challah bread. I felt a bit bad because it was the Jewish Passover. I hope that the stores carried enough challah for everyone. I love it when Jewish passover and everyone's Easter is the same week- I pray that our calendars can be aligned soon.

4. I had an interesting 'how was your weekend' conversation with my ESL students this past Tuesday. I teach adults in a college setting, so we are free to discuss about any subject with sensitivity. Occasionally, we talk a bit of religion if it is relevant to the conversation. They know I'm Catholic; they don't know I'm a Byzantine Catholic priest's wife.  I wouldn't want their heads to explode. Anyway, a Protestant Mexican student was very eager to discuss how immoral it is to have eggs and bunnies and such on Easter Sunday. "It isn't a religion; it's a relationship." Um ok- how do I quickly discuss this and get back to the matter at hand- English class and present continuous and colors. I did sympathize with her that yes some people give up tequila for forty days and then are too smashed to celebrate the resurrection properly.

5.But I couldn't let her 'get away with' her anti-Easter celebration attitude so easily. I did agree that the commercialization of Easter and six-foot tall mall bunny rabbits are not the best way to celebrate Christ's rising from the dead. But when I said "my older daughters led music and worshiped on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I think that some chocolate and new running shoes are a way to 'balance' things so that they remain, as children, enthusiastic about God and His Church." My student didn't like that answer. We should always worship perfectly and not do anything different on a random Sunday. Um-ok. She believes that there are no seasons to life. She can't wrap her mind around a feasting-fasting seesaw. She sees it as hypocritical.

6. And what about eggs? I showed the class an icon of Mary Magdalena holding a red egg. The egg symbolizes life and the blood of Christ. I find it one of the most powerful icons in existence. My student just sneered and said that Magdalena did not have an egg in the Bible. All I could do was smile and say, "And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written." (John 21:25) Then we got back to learning about the present continuous tense.
7. Mary Magdalena is a favorite saint of mine and the patron of my second daughter. She's amazing and an example to us all. We call her 'equal to the Apostles' and yet have never thought that she should be an Apostle/priest herself. So it really irks me when her name is used to push a political agenda. It is a political, not spiritual agenda because women can hold clerical positions in almost every denomination, but some people want the Catholic Church to become Episcopalian. Most are not content to be Episcopalian themselves. They need to be Catholic priests, not Episcopalian ones.  There's a PhD dissertation in that.

27 comments:

  1. *growls* you beat me this week.

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  2. And if there's an Eastern Orthodox church in your town that didn't switch to the Gregorian Calendar, you can celebrate Easter again this Sunday.

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    1. Are there any Eastern Orthodox churches on the Gregorian Calendar? I know of several Catholic Churches on the Julian, but I've never heard of an Orthodox one on the Gregorian.

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    2. I don't know of any Orthodox churches that use the new calendar- it is the Byzantine ones that fluctuate- we use the new calendar because the Ruthenian and Roman-rite churches we meet in also use

      I always breathe a sigh of relief when Easter is here for all

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  3. Fascinated by your chat with student.

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  4. Erin- It was like walking a tightrope- a secular ESL class really isn't the place- obviously we both had our strong beliefs, she has a language barrier because we were speaking in English and I am an authority figure there- so I didn't say all I wanted to say! (and that's okay)

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    1. Sometimes, simpler is better. For now.

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  5. My son, who used to be a seminarian in Rome, was going around to all of his seminarian friends saying "Christ is Risen." They would look at him and say "Allelulia." He was very frustrated no one got it. He is a huge fan of the Byzantine right. We have quite a collection of icons here. He recently found that his girlfriend's father was raised in the Ukrainian Rite (forgive my ignorance, but is that the same?) But his friend, Fr. F. told him he can not get married and convert and be a priest, lol.

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    1. if the father was Ukrainian Catholic (yes- Byzantine- specific ethnic jurisdiction of Ukrainian), then the daughter should have been baptized Ukrainian unless they officially changed rites.

      As a part of catholic culture- it would be wonderful if we did 'Christ is risen-Indeed He is risen' greetings for at least the octave

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    2. we lutherans do the "Christ is risen." "He is risen indeed." :)

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    3. Kristin, if you're interested, I posted a very long saga on my blog about the father's rite and what that means for the children. My husband is Byzantine Catholic too (Ruthenian rite).

      Jen, one of the Episcopal churches in my town has a banner outside with "He is risen."

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  6. Christ is Risen! I made my pascha in the bread machine this year. Well, I just made the dough in the bread machine. I baked it in the oven, in my pascha pan. It seemed somehow "wrong", but I got over that feeling pretty quickly. It made my life so much easier!

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    1. Elizabeth- you are smart! A friend made a 'normal' Pascha bread but then made the sweet cheese filled one (a Romanian thing) in a deep cookie sheet, so that the Pascha bread could be cut into bars- not traditional, but then the bread didn't collapse under the weight of the cheese. I'm going to try that method next time

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  7. Christos anesti!! I learn so much whenever I read your blog! I also have a special place in my heart for St. Mary Magdalene. Do you know any good books about her? It's hard to find one that isn't using her to say women should be priests or something like that. Happy Easter!

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    1. I'm going to have to look around- there's a blog "Eastern Christian Books' that probably has something

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  8. Thanks for your excellent blog today ! Christ is Risen ! Oh, and by the way, Sanzi looks great in her Easter dress.

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  9. I didn't get any pictures of the kids in their Easter outfits, either. I think it is just something we sacrifice in having a big family. I brought my camera to church, but my hands are always full, or somebody is pulling at my skirt. I had an opportunity later in the day, but the little ones were already filthy. I'm still hanging on to the plan to dress them up in a week or two and take a picture.

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    1. Oops, I put this comment on the wrong blog post.

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  10. Christos voskrese! (That's Slovak, in case anyone is wondering. Slovaks say their greeting in Church Slavonic--NOT Slovak.)

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  11. The priest at my church said last week how much he loved the way Byzantine Catholic's greeted each other and that we should pick it up. I immediately thought of you. :)

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  12. #7 - I love the Magdalene, too!! In fact, Adam & I have chosen Magdalena Catherine as a name for a daughter, if God should bless us with a daughter.

    #5 - I can't understand that mentality. God created the world with intention and purpose, the seasons themselves are not accidental. He gives us a world with pattern & meaning because He knows we need that. Why wouldn't that be part of our worship? Thank God for the Church, man . . .

    In unrelated news, the little mission which was supposed to start Divine Liturgies at our parish at the beginning of Lent still hasn't. Some disagreement between their bishop & ours. It makes me sad, I was so excited to experience Divine Liturgy.

    Oh well, Happy Easter!!

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  13. What a perfect name ;)

    My Magdalena's middle name is Carolina (Euro. pronunciation)

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  14. Hmm.. two of your daughters' identities have been exposed in the comments! How long is this blog going to remain anonymous? tee hee I had so much to do Easter Sunday that I decided to do my "Polish" (not accurate- but the Polish community in Canada was where I encountered these)dishes on Divine Mercy Sunday- like the Pascha and Kulich. I figure, pretty good for the state of life I'm in right now. -F

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  15. Passover was a fine time for you to be buying the challah, as you weren't competing with the regular consumer base- Jews may not eat leavened bread during the holiday (nor own it, nor eat any that was owned by a Jew, even after the holiday is over). So whoever was selling it was likely losing some of their regular business for the week and a day... I'm glad you got good use out of it.

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    1. OOPS! Debka- of course, you are right! Now I don't feel so bad for not baking my own

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