Thursday, May 9, 2013

Ukrainian Resurrection Sunday

Joyous greetings of "Христос воскрес!" (Christ Arose!) replacing the normal hellos by those you meet.  To which the reply is, "Во истена воскрес!" (Of a truth, He arose!)  They have spent days, or even the entire week, in preparation for this day.  Most have worked all day Saturday preparing the pas-ha bread.  Olya doesn't have an oven yet and asked to use mine for making her pas-ha bread.  It takes an entire day, but they make a lot of bread.

 The dough took up my entire countertop!

Sunday morning the streets are filled with families carrying baskets filled with decorated eggs, bread, meats, cheese, alcohol, etc. that have been blessed by the priest.  If they have not already done so, they decorate the grave sites of their loved ones then every member of the family samples each of the items in the basket to avoid misfortune.  This is a holiday filled with much superstition and alcohol.  How sweet the sound of their Resurrection greetings!  But, oh!  How sad that it is nothing more than a mere tradition!

About 2 weeks before Resurrection Sunday (which was May 5th here this year), we received 2,000 tracts entitled "Christ Arose!"  The tracts were readily received and we were able to get almost all of them out!  Pray that God will open their eyes to the truth of the Gospel.

Max and Daniel (with Max's glasses).

Masha and Anna

Even with all of the drunkenness surrounding this day, God greatly blessed our services and we had over 30 in attendance!  We were thinking we would be low in attendance since many had said they would be at the graveyard.  Some still went to the graveyard that morning and just missed Sunday School, but made it for the morning service.

 The Sunday School class...Nikita was running around somewhere so is not in the photo.

 While the meal was being prepared, the kids played and the ladies tried to find cool spots to fellowship.  (It was in the 90s!)  We enjoyed a sweet time of fellowship and delicious food...and PLENTY of pas-ha bread.  Almost everyone wanted us to try their's. :)

Slavic and Yuri enjoying Pas-ha.

1 comment:

  1. I find the slight variations in tradition very interesting. Maybe because you're closer to Russia? Where we lived in central Russia, Easter was definitely cemetery day. In Moscow they even reroute the city buses to the cemeteries! Here (in southern Ukraine) everyone insists that that part comes the week after Easter. I looked into it once, and that really is the older tradition.

    But you still call the kulich paska, even if you are closer to Russia. :-)

    Thanks for sharing your lovely photos! Христос воскрес!



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