Austin, Texas: Easter
Night (Pascha), April
At Holy Protection parish, Russian Orthodox
Church Outside Russia, 1701 Peridot Rd., Pflugerville,
TX 78660, a few blocks from Austin. Church website: http://www.orthodoxaustin.org
thanks to all who helped make our parish's 2012 Easter
celebration a big success! It was a beautiful service. At
least 100 people were present and rejoicing with us in the
Resurrection of our Lord and God and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Parking was no problem, thanks to
the Tejeda family, who allowed worshippers to park on their lot.
Holy Week pictures, click here.
After the reading of the Book
of Acts by various volunteers, the midnight office began.
During the midnight office, the Shroud of Jesus Christ was
removed from the center of the church and carried into the
sanctuary. Then all the lights were extinguished, and the
people waited with their unlit candles in tomb-like
darkness. Then, at the stroke of 11:30 p.m., the royal doors
were opened and a single light was brought forth by the
priest. As all the people lit their candles, there was heard
from the sanctuary the soft singing of "Thy Resurrection, O
Saviour Christ, angels hymn..." followed by the choir. Then,
the bell tolling solemnly, the great procession issued forth
from the west doors of the church with lights, the cross,
the church banners, the choir and finally the clergy and
then the laity, singing "Thy Resurrection" as we encircled
the church three times on the sidewalk.
above: Midnight procession:
"Thy resurrection, O Christ Saviour, the angels hymn in the
heavens..." Michael and Nathan Trujillo, Samuel Andreasen,
Joel Davis, and choir.
above: Midnight procession. Military chaplain Fr.
Paul Andreasen carrying the Gospels, Hieromonk Aidan, Reader
Andrew Eatough assisting.
above: Midnight procession. The luminarias gave most
of the light; this was a strong camera flash.
above: Midnight procession. The prayers before the
closed doors of the church.
above: Midnight procession. "Let God arise, and let
His enemies be scattered!"
above: Midnight procession. Sprinkling with holy
above: After the priest began the paschal Matins
outside the doors, with "Christ is risen!" in various
languages, we all re-entered the illumined and radiant
church to the joyous pealing of the bell to complete the
Russian Orthodox Easter service which is like no other. Click on the above to
see a larger image.
above: During the odes of Paschal Matins. By a common
custom, the priest re-emerges each Ode with a
different-colored vestment (phelonion) on.
White, gold, red, blue, and purple were worn in succession by the
above: Easter service. Priest censing the outside
walls of the church while saying, "Christ is risen!" Behind
the wall is the candle-room where even more faithful were
above: Easter Liturgy, the epistle having been read
in English and Slavonic, the priest reads the Holy Gospel
above: Easter Liturgy, the clergy coming out at the
Great Entrance. Shown is chaplain Fr. Paul Andreasen. Reader
Andrew is handling the door.
above: Easter Liturgy, the Great Entrance, praying
for all the Orthodox Christian faithful throughout the whole
above: Easter Liturgy. Hieromonk Aidan after
Communion: "Always, now and ever, and unto the ages of
above: Easter Liturgy. Priest blessing the Artos. The
artos is a specially made bread which represents the Risen
Lord Jesus standing among us. The bread is stamped with
special iconographic imagery and is round to symbolize the
eternity of Christ's Divine nature, which is without
beginning and without end.
above: Blessing of Easter baskets. Andrew, our choir
director, is leading "Christ is risen from the dead,
trampling down death by death, and on those in the tombs
above: Blessing of Easter baskets. The Easter baskets
were laid out on four long tables in the trapeza (refectory
or dining hall).
above: After the blessing we sang "Many Years!" to
Mikhail Alëshin, who just turned five and is now very
big! About 25% of our parish are youth and children. The
Passion of Christ art project is complete and viewable in
the Education room.
Thanks to parish photographer and
starosta (warden) Sergei Larin for the above photos.
Back to http://www.orthodoxaustin.org