Just as some children try to stay awake until midnight on New Year’s Eve or stay awake until Santa comes on Christmas Eve, Eastern Orthodox Christian children try to stay awake until after midnight on the eve of Pascha (Easter). Pascha is the celebration of the resurrection of Christ, and it’s the most important and most exciting day of the year for Eastern Orthodox Christians.
Catherine’s Pascha book about Easter
After 40 days of Lent, with its fasting and increased prayer, everyone is looking forward to the Pascha service. It means Christ is risen, and it means a feast: an end to the vegan fast, with meats and cheeses of all kinds. Everyone packs a Pascha basket with their favorites and takes it to the church for the feast after the service.
The Pascha service starts late at night, and the church is mostly dark. Around midnight, the excitement builds and reaches its peak, and so does the light, with candles everywhere. Parishioners greet each other with “Christ is risen.” “Indeed, He is risen,” in many different languages, because Eastern Orthodoxy is celebrated in most countries around the world.
Catherine and her brother want to stay awake all the way to the end of the Pascha service this year. Will they be able to fight their sleepiness and make it?
Beautiful picture book
Catherine’s Pascha is one of the most beautifully-illustrated books I’ve seen in years. It portrays well the beauty of Orthodox churches and it provides an excellent view into the oldest and purest form of Christianity. Churches all over the country are buying multiple copies, and understandably so. I hope to see more by this author and this illustrator.
I knew both the author and the illustrator prior to this book’s publication, and while I was fully aware that R.J. Hughes was a talented illustrator, when I saw the galleys and again when my contributor’s copy arrived in the mail, I was amazed at her ability to grasp the symbolism and portray the ornate quality of Orthodoxy so quickly. The art fits the text so well, and both do the Orthodox Christian Church a loving honor. I am blessed to know these women and to have read this book. I hope you all buy it and read it every year. May it become a tradition in your homes and churches during Lent as Pascha approaches.
English greeting: Christ is risen. English response: Indeed, He is risen!
Navajo greeting: Christ daaztsáádéé’ náádiidzáá. Navajo response: ‘Aáníí, daaztsáádéé’ náádidzáá.