Orthodox Christians celebrate, reflect
And if that all sounds familiar, you're not wrong.
Although many Christians celebrated Easter last month, complete with a Holy Week that recounts Jesus' last week on Earth, Orthodox Christians celebrate Pascha, or Orthodox Easter, later.
"The only difference between the two is that due to the results of an algorithm," said Father Leo Schefe, pastor of St. George's Greek Orthodox Church in Keene. "The Julian calendar skips a leap year in order to make up the few minutes that we are off every year . Over the last 2,000 years, those few minutes have added up to 13 days.
"So the algorithm for figuring Pascha is you have the Equinox, and you have a full moon and it's the Sunday after that," he said.
Math aside, the day itself is full of meaning for members of the Orthodox Church.
"If Christmas were Jupiter," said Schefe. "Then Pascha is greater than the sun. Christmas is real big, but Pascha, you can't really compare it."
Schefe said for Orthodox Christians, Holy Week is a time of repentance and reflection. To that end, believers fast during Holy Week and abstain from dairy, wine and olive oil.
For Maria Bradshaw, 52, of Keene, a parishioner of St. George's Greek Orthodox Church in Keene, this is a time of renewal.
"This is the most important holiday for Eastern Orthodox," she said. "The week culminates in this resurrection service, which is really the hope and the salvation of Christ and our renewal. This week reminds us of how important it is to have hope. But also our own selves to remember what Christ went through."
Bradshaw said each year she leaves the celebration with a little something different that she takes with her into the rest of her life. This year, she said, she hopes to take with her "hope and compassion."
"It's a time to really look at ourselves and see what we're doing in our lives and repent, ask for forgiveness," said Heather Riley, 42, of Keene. "We do a fast, and I've been fasting, and that's my way to try to take a look at myself, to make sure that I am following the Christian life."
Riley said she had left her religion for a while, but recently found her way back.
"I grew up this way, and I took a hiatus for a few years," she said. "I'm in a place in my life where I feel like I want to renew that in my life."
READER COMMENTS: 2
- Ban fireworks? Get serious - 12
- Praising freedom: While curtailing it - 16
- Fergus Cullen: No politics buffer zone - some want issue unsettled - 7
- The perfect winner: Mrs. Craig gives when she receives - 0
- A sacred rite denied: Partial justice in Marriott murder - 0
- Casino tax breaks: Bad news for Gov. Hassan - 4
- A medal well earned: Ryan M. Pitts is a hero - 3
- Treat them better: Bad medicine for veterans, military - 14
- Editorial: USNH’s freeze a good start - 3
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Speeding stop leads to drug and alcohol charges in Hollis - 0
- Allen Lessels on Motor Sports: Youngsters eye NHMS - 0
- Mark Hayward's City Matters: Manchester's bike culture shifts into high gear - 0
- Ignoring Lyme: What are state, towns doing? - 1
- Dave D'Onofrio's Sox Beat: Red Sox makeover underway - 1
- Tom Herzig's Trackside: MacDonald has NHMS track experience - 0
- Drew Cline: Scott Brown plans to win over NH one handshake at a time - 7
- Anthony M. Kay - 0
- Walsh paces Sweeney Post past Laconia - 0
132-mph street racers blow by trooper in Nashua, one of two arrested; motorcyclist arrested on I-93 doing 107 mph
Police say Manchester woman arrested for punching ex-boyfriend during custody exchange in Walmart parking lot
Mount Washington College to close 2 campuses
Bikers say under-30 generation isn't interested, and can't afford many of the top motorcycles
Ban fireworks? Get serious
GOP criticizes Shaheen over gas tax
Sentence fragment: Coco's cuckoo release
Ayotte calls again for FCC reform