Posted on Sat, May. 03, 2008
Savior rises again: Orthodox churches celebrate Easter with pageantry
By TERRY LEE GOODRICH
Star-Telegram staff writer
With chants, incense and centuries-old ritual, several area Greek,
Romanian and Coptic Orthodox churches celebrated Easter last weekend
with re-enactments of Jesus' burial and resurrection.
During the Good Friday observation at St. Abanoub Coptic Church in
Euless, an icon of a crucifix was placed in the middle of the church
surrounded by crosses, candles and roses. At day's end, it was placed
on the altar behind closed curtains and wrapped in cloth along with
spices, flowers and incense, said the Rev. Ghobrial Samaan of St. Abanoub.
Congregation members were anointed with oil and listened to the book
of Revelation and prophecies from the Old Testament.
On Saturday night, worshippers returned to celebrate the
Resurrection. Church lights were turned off while the priest and
deacons unwrapped the icon. Then with the lights flashing, church
leaders toured the church, chanting while carrying Resurrection flags
and the icon.
The church continues by celebrating the Resurrection daily with a
procession in each liturgy for 40 days until Ascension. Another
procession will be made on Pentecost Sunday, 10 days after Ascencion.
Orthodox worshippers celebrate Easter later than other Christians
because the Orthodox church uses a method established by the First
Ecumenical Council of Nicaea in A.D. 325, church officials said.