Easter is the highest holiday in the Christian Orthodox church. It celebrates Jesus' resurrection three days after his crucifixion and death. Many Orthodox Christians believe that by Jesus' death, our sins are forgiven by God.
Orthodox churches hold a Paschal Vigil service. The worship typically starts in darkness on the preceding Saturday night or early Sunday morning. The service starts in darkness and culminates later in the procession when candles are lit in celebration of the resurrection. The light signify hope based on the resurrection.
Orthodox Easter Facts
Easter is often called Pascha in the Orthodox tradition. Pascha normally falls either one or five weeks later than the feast as observed by Christians who follow the Gregorian calendar. However, occasionally the two observances coincide, and on occasion they can be four weeks apart.
Eggs represent new life as well as Jesus' tomb. In some Orthodox churches eggs are dyed red to symbolize either the blood of Christ or the red cloak Roman soldiers put on Jesus as they tortured him.
In the Orthodox tradition, the Easter season lasts for 100 days. It begins as a time of preparation, 49 days before the holiday. The proceeding 50 days after Easter is dedicated for strengthening faith in Jesus Christ.
The final worship service of Pascha is usually held at noon on Sunday. Called the Agape Vespers, the service highlights St. Thomas' encounter with the risen Jesus. Thomas doubted that the resurrection was real until Jesus told him to touch his wounds. Thomas' story is usually read in a number of languages to emphasize the universal nature of Christ's life, death, and resurrection.
Greek Orthodox Easter
Dyed Red Eggs
Soldiers guarding the Epitaphio
Walking the Epitaphio round the block of the church.