Christos Anesti!

I very much wish I had stopped to take pictures tonight. I had a wonderful evening, and to come clean: I did not enter the Church tonight. I thought to, I wanted to, but in the end, I am glad I decided to wait. I’m exploring still, and I’m young and the whole wide world is before me.

I journey with an open heart and a curious mind, and love and support my friends who made it all the way.

My reasons for not entering are more circumstantial than anything and it truly was my desire to go through with conversion. However, my life is full of unexpected twists and turns, and surprises, and this was one of them.

However, Chirst is Risen! Indeed He is risen!

And that meant two things for this wandering and practically Catholic ex-protestant: Easter Vigil, and Pascha with the Orthodox.

Easter vigil is a really solemn and thoughtful rite. I went to a latin mass for it, and it was long, but rewarding. The liturgy was intense, and the litanies were heavy to bear. But having brushed up on my Latin, I found the whole experience rewarding, and I understood a great deal more than I expected to.

The candles and other sacramentals were great, the blessing of the fire and the darkness of the church was also wonderful. I did feel a bit like Harry Potter enter Hogwarts wince the church had a full processional into the sanctuary by candlelight in a dark sanctuary. The ladies were also wearing vintage hats which made the whole experience that much more interesting and memorable.

Then, after the kneeling, the prayers and the litanies were said and done, we rushed south to join the Orthodox for their Pascha service.

The service was beautiful, and since it was my first time in an Orthodox Church I was absolutely enthralled by the entire setup, the standing and the plethora of icons. The ikonostasis was gorgeous, and the whole thing was an experience full of light.

I loved everything about the liturgy, and the fellowship.

The feasting after the liturgy was also wonderful. The people celebrated Christ and their fasts and everything else with excitement and vigor, with triumphant shouts of “Christ is Risen!” With the response “He is risen indeed!”

Christ is risen, and while I didn’t get to eat Jesus, and I very much wish I had, I got to be with friends, much Like Frodo, before he leaves the Shire. I felt myself in good company all night, and when we are with the body of Christ, that’s what’s important.

I cannot wait for the day when I fully share in Holy Communion, but I’m glad that day was not today. I have time, and I will continue faithfully pursuing the Good, The True and the Beautiful, until such a time as they shall have claimed me for themselves.

Thank you for journeying with me, and if I have disappointed some of my readers, I apologize. It’s been a good time, and I intend to keep blogging here at the Practical Catholic, since, well, I’m practically Catholic. Feel free to drop in, leave comments, whatever, as usual.

I’ll keep you guys posted on changes as they come. Thanks for all the love, all the comments and al the support. Christ is Risen! And that’s what matters in the end.

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About Eli

Brazilian.Catholic.Lover.Photographer.Adventurer.Theologian.

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