Easter in Greece

As we know, Easter is a big, and I mean big, part of the Catholic liturgical calendar.  The choir practices for weeks, father’s rushing around to put everything together, and the altar servers (I can say from experience) practice to prevent a horrible mistake on the lords day of resurrection. It’s a very important time of the year, it’s also important in Greece as well!

Greece, unlike Canada, has an official state religion, meaning churches are government buildings. The official religion of Greece is the Greece Orthodox Church. This church is mostly like a Catholic Church, sharing a lot of similarities, with only some differences. In the church, there are no pews, you don’t sit. Also, another difference would be a greater informality in the mass. By this, I mean that the people aren’t standing in lines, like the way we have our congregation organized, instead they’re kind of standing all over the place, doing their own things, which is quite the difference. They also celebrate the Easter mass a bit differently as well. People on Holy Thursday would bring flowers to decorate the crucifix’s (bed?). They also have a massive celebration at the end of Easter Vigil Mass. Fireworks booming in the sky, and kids throwing firecrackers around, it’s truly a way to end lent with a bang (pun intended).

Easter is a big part of the Catholic church, and for Greece too. When we have a little furnace to light our church, the Greek people have a military helicopter get a lit candle from Jerusalem! Starting to wish we had some government funding.