Wednesday, May 4, 2011

April 23 - The Night of Ayio Fos

This week, we were full up of Easter Traditions. We had the funeral procession of Christ on Friday where everyone marches through the streets behind a giant casket decorated with gold and flowers. It really is quite elaborate. Then on Saturday we had the Holy Light where you go to the church and a priest comes out with a candle that is supposedly lit by the power of Christ. While we know this not to be true, it is still a fun little tradition to go to at midnight and celebrate the resurrection of the Savior. We ended up with most of the mission at one church on the tallest hill in Athens. It was quite the experience. Then on Sunday you could wander the streets to see the spits roasting whole lambs and the smell got quite tasty. It is amazing how we do so many different things to remember the greatest sacrifice that was ever made for us.

This is the Saturday night before Easter Sunday which is called the night of the Holy Light. We gathered at the little church on the top of Lycabbettos just before midnight. The light is brought out of the church at midnight and everyone assembled lights their candles. It is traditional to say "Xristos Anesti" and the reply is "Alithos Anesti" meaning "Christ is Risen "and "Truly He has Risen." We know that our Savior lives.

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