Pascha

(If you are here for ICLW [or this is your first time stumbling onto my blog for any reason] check out this post from the 23rd for an explanation of who I am and where I’m coming from)

pas·chal

/ˈpæskəl/

–adjective

1. of or pertaining to Easter.
Many of you know that my husband and I are Catechumens with the Eastern Orthodox Church (Specifically we attend an Antiochian Orthodox Church).  This has been a fascinating experience and journey for both of us. We started attending back in November and so lots is still new, exciting and occasionally confusing.  I wish we had found this church so much sooner, it has been a place of rest, refuge and refreshment for us in our lives, especially in dealing with infertility.  While I absolutely do not judge people who aren’t Christian, I can’t imagine facing everything we face without faith. The fact is that the majority of my friends are not Christian.  Some are Jewish, some are Wiccan, some are atheist… And so I commonly will wish people a Happy Passover, Happy Solstice or Happy Easter.  While I may not partake in the same festivities you participate in, I do hope you enjoy yourself non the less.  Anyway, I wanted to take a tiny second and talk about Pascha, which is what the Orthodox Church calls Easter.  (The name “Easter” is an adaptation of pagan beliefs, and the Orthodox Church believes strongly in keeping their history/traditions accurate).  Pascha is often referred to at the most important holiday in the Orthodoc Church, more important that Christmas.  The entire week leading up to the holiday is busy with services (twice a day every day!) and culminates at midnight of Saturday evening/Sunday morning with a service.  I’m excited to see what that looks like!  Then everyone conks out for a few hours to catch up on sleep and reconvenes in the afternoon for a brief Vespers service and then a FEAST.  I’m telling you, one thing I am learning to appreciate about Orthodoxy compared to Presbyterianism is that Orthodox folks know how to celebrate.  Anything and everything that can be celebrated in the church IS celebrated.  Usually with lots of amazing food and tradition.  I do not in any way want this post to come across as preach-y or offensive, and usually I keep my faith to a minimum on this blog. But it is a big part of my life and who I am so occasionally it comes out such as is happening now. I’m still learning a lot so feel free to ask any questions and if I don’t know the answer (as is usually the case) it gives me a great opportunity to learn more and then explain it 🙂
As excited as I am about experiencing my first Pascha, I have to take a moment to pause.  I received some really terrible news this evening from Rachel.  As some of you know she was our surrogate who had decided to step down from that role after a really bad fall off of her horse.  She then found out she was pregnant with her boyfriend’s baby quite unexpectedly.  She has been on a really extensive roller coaster of emotions through all of this, only to miscarry today. My heart breaks for her right now. Because I have survived a miscarriage myself I know there is nothing anyone can really do, but be there.  Be supportive.  Let you cry, or sit numbly on the couch or whatever it is that you need to do. I have told Rachel that I am here for her but I am also hesitant because I don’t want to go barging over there if what she really wants is to be alone.  Some of you have been following her for a little while commenting and giving her some really great support. If you have not read her blog yet I do ask you to go over, read a little and let her know that she is not alone.  That there is a great community of people who know what she is going through.  I weep for her pain and loss.
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4 responses to this post.

  1. My heart goes out to Rachel… such a horrendous thing to go through. Hope your first Pascha is peaceful and full of love xoxo

    Reply

  2. Like.
    I am interested in learning about other religions and beliefs but I don’t like being judged for my lack of organised religion, or people trying to convince me their way is THE way. So I have no problem with you waxing how religion fits into your life. Toleration and acceptance are qualities for all of us.
    I’ve never heard of the specific branch of church that you are in. I was brought up C of E, but chose not to continue with that line of belief.

    Interesting you mention how facing what you have been facing with faith. I wonder if I had been Christian, how I would have felt about my God ‘letting’ this stuff happen to me. In a way its been better (for me) not believing that. I certainly read on a few mc forums about people quoting Bible passages in support, and see that faith can help with getting through this crap.

    I hope none of this reads as offensive as that is not my intention.

    Hope your Pascha rocked. We ate lots of yummy food and spent time with friends (and ate lots of chocolate). Great day

    Reply

    • No worries about asking questions. I love getting asked questions, I would rather someone ask me then make assumptions that may be incorrect.

      Ya, theologians call that “the problem of evil”, which basically says that God must either be all powerfull and not care about us, or does care about us but is not powerful enough to stop bad things from happening in our lives. The way Christians see it, is that God does have the power to intervene, but he limits himself because he gave us free will. One of the most comforting things a friend said to me after my miscarriage (when everyone else was so thoughtlessly saying things like “God has a plan” and “There must have been something wrong with that Baby so God kept it from being born) she looked at me and said “I think that God is sad about this too. I don’t think God ever wants us to miscarry, suffer or have loss.” The thing about free will is that it allows us to make all sorts of bad decisions. (But also good decisions, like the decision to love one another and love God) Who knows if the junk food I ate as a kid, or my limited exercise or a countless other tiny things about my family history or my own personal history, that has resulted in my current situation. Orthodox do not believe that God “punishes” us for sin, but that when we sin it affects us. Kind of like how in physics for ever action there is a reaction, or cause-and-effect?

      I don’t know if that makes any sense, it is a complicated theory to explain. Thank you for your tolerance and acceptance, I absolutely think that those are two very important attributes and it is the unfortunate fact that many of people who label themselves Christian do not think they are important and why I have so few “Christian” friends in my life because I cannot stand the hipocracy of them… that’s a tangent for another post though lol

      Reply

  3. […] weekend for us, and then Pascha is next weekend!  One of my first blog posts here on wordpress was about Pascha.  It just strikes me how I’ve come full circle… Like this:LikeBe the first to like this […]

    Reply

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