15 April 2012

Happy Sunday: Christ Has Resurrected! or, Mishaps at the local Orthodox cathedral

One of my favorite things about Romania--and the Eastern Orthodox religion in general--is the utter enthusiasm for the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Easter is a big deal for them.  And not just a big deal at church.  It's everywhere--the streets, the buses, the markets, the liquor stores...  Wherever you go you will be greeted with a good, hearty "Christ has resurrected!"  This is the Easter equivalent of, well, any salutation or farewell.

"What's up, man?" "Hey, girl, hey!" "Hello again, officer." "See ya, Grandma."

"Christ has resurrected!" covers all of those,  And the proper response: "True, he resurrected!"

How awesome is that? No hiding the flame of Easter spirit under a bushel for them.

Last night I hit up an Eastern Orthodox cathedral in SLC to celebrate the good old fashioned Romanian way (yes, their Easter happens to be one week later than ours this year).  After a service where the priest chants and sings a lot, he walks down the aisle of the church with a giant torch of sorts and those of us who are closest to him light our candles and pass the light on to the rest of the congregation.  Apparently it's bonus points if you light your candle directly from the priest's flame, so obviously I stood on the aisle.  I need all the help I can get.

"Coooommee and partaaaaaaake of the liiiiiiiiiiight," he chanted.

I grew more and more eager as he approached me.  It seemed to take ages.

Finally, he was within arm's reach and I stuck my candle out to partake in the goodness.

Then something went awry.  His big ol' candle wobbled out of its holder and landed on my foot.

This could have happened:

Luckily, it did not.

Now, can someone please tell me the protocol for this situation?  Is it extra bonus points for me or none at all?  That fire is supposed to be straight from the Holy Land itself, so does the fact that it extinguished on my foot curse every Orthodox person until next Easter?  If so, my deepest regrets, you guys.

But on the plus side, Christ has resurrected!  Shout it from the roof tops!


  1. you are KIDDING me! the eternal flame went out on your foot! that would so only happen to you. holy moly.

  2. i was disappointed at the inviere that we went to because the priest just stood there and expected everyone to come to him to partake of the light. how lazy. was your service in romanian??

  3. Nah, it was in English. Bits and pieces were in Russian or Romanian or Greek or any other Eastern European language. They did say "Hristos a înviat" so that's all that matters, right? Afterwards we met some Romanians and we all ciocnit ouă roșii together:)