Christ is Risen! Христосъ воскресе!
With God's grace, Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary has celebrated another glorious and joyous Pascha, this year for the first time with His Grace Bishop Luke (Murianka) officiating as a bishop!
To prepare for the Paschal culmination of Lent, the Monastery, Seminary, and lay communities gathered together each morning and evening to follow the Lord from His triumphant entrance into Jerusalem through all six days of Holy Week (or Passion Week) to the Cross. Reenacting liturgically and reflecting on such events as the cursed fig tree, the foolish virgins and the Bridegroom, Christ's washing of the disciple's feet, the institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper, the reading of the twelve Passion Gospels, the life-giving Crucifixion, and the procession of the Holy Winding Sheet for the burial of our Lord, everyone was fortified with a spirit of repentance and ascetic discipline to participate in the demanding but profound liturgical services for six to nine hours each day and to confront the darker aspects of worldly life. Only one meal was served in the trapeza per day.
Emerging finally from the penitential rigor of Holy Week, the community, worshipping in the pitch of night, experienced the light in the darkness that raises all men to heaven— Christ's Resurrection! To share in this manifestation of hope, more than 200 clergy and faithful packed Holy Trinity Cathedral and joyously proclaimed Christ is Risen! Every priest, one by one, proceeded with the Paschal Troitsa and censer into the altar, around Holy Table, and around the interior perimeter of the cathedral, censing the icons and the faithful and leading the chorus of exaltation in various languages: Christ is Risen!, Христосъ воскресе!, Χριστὸς ἀνέστη!, Christus ist auferstanden!, Christus resurrexit!, ¡Cristo ha resucitado!
After the 3:30 a.m. feast in the trapeza, most seminarians headed home for their Spring Break during Bright Week, while the Monastery community and Seminary families continued with the Paschal Vespers on Sunday afternoon and Divine Liturgies for the second and third days of Pascha to extend the grace and joy of the Feast of Feasts.