Among the most distinctive aspects of Orthodox Christianity is our yearly cycle of fasting and feasting. The entire year receives its shape from the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and from the lives of His saints, especially St. Mary (Christ’s mother) and St. John the Baptist.
The seasons of the Holy Orthodox Church—far from a collection of dry and ancient traditions—are a beautiful treasury of life from the Holy Spirit. The ups and downs of fasting and celebrating ground our own personal spiritual lives in the person of the Lord Jesus, the Word of God who “became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14).
In honoring these seasons at St. George Orthodox Church in Spring Valley, we follow the Orthodox Traditions of our particular branch of the Orthodox Church, the Church of Antioch. We offer to you the following videos as examples of what we do, as we celebrate the life of our Lord and His saints. While there is no substitute for actually attending an Orthodox service and worshipping with us, we pray you will be edified and encouraged by our posted videos.
You can find among these videos a recording of the Feast of Holy Pascha (Easter), which celebrates the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead. This is the most important even in the history of the universe! Of course, it’s also the most important day on our Church calendar. You’ll see from the video that we begin this service at night in the dark. We sing some hymns about the Lord’s death on the Cross and his placement in the tomb. Then the priest lights a candle and passes it out to all the people present, proclaiming, “Come receive the Light, from the Light, which is never overtaken by night. Come glorify Christ, who is risen from the dead!”
From there, everyone present processes outside, where the first proclamation of the resurrection is heard: “Christ is risen from the dead, by death hath He trodden death. And upon those in the tombs, hath He bestowed life!” At this point, those present process back into the church building for a joyous celebration of light and life: