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Author Topic: Pascha Party!  (Read 7839 times) Average Rating: 0
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knotquiteawake
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« on: April 29, 2008, 10:06:57 AM »

I'm wondering what all your different parishes do after the Pascha service Saturday night. 

We had a big tent/pavillion setup with a ton of food and baskets to be blessed.  I don't think we even started eating until just after 1am and I ended up staying until about 4:30am.  There was a dance floor setup that only the little kids dared to use.  My friends brought a few special beers and cigars that had been blessed in our Pascha baskets.  It was such a wonderful time with all my friends and my Church family.  Even the little kids were excited until 2-3am.
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« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2008, 12:06:41 PM »

Nocturn starts:  11:30 pm, Paschal procession, Matins, DL following starting at about midnight and finishing about 3 AM.

Go to hall, eat pascha baskets.  I stayed a little later to help cleanup.

Go home, sleep 6 hrs and then come back for Agape Vespers @1 pm.

Picnic/BBQ starting around 2 pm until dusk.  100+ people attending, with whole lamb on spit, Hawaiian pit pig -> pulled pork, other bbq items and food, beer (10 gallons of home brew that didn't last), wine, etc.  We have 4 acres, so plenty of room for kids to rome around.
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« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2008, 02:49:06 PM »

^ Virtually the same here. Our Agape Vespers starts at 3, with a picnic from 3:30 until whenever. This year it ended around 7:30 or so. We usually have over a hundred people as well, and we grill hamburgers, hot dogs, and lamb on a spit. There's always plenty of beer and wine, and the Russians always bring vodka. We usually have a cola of some sort in a language I can't read as well. We were planning a baseball game as well, but it was rained out.

I always say, "There are two rules to eating Agape Vespers: 1. Don't ask what it is. 2. Eat it anyway." Everything's always very good, even if I can't tell exactly what it is.
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« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2008, 03:59:36 PM »

I always say, "There are two rules to eating Agape Vespers: 1. Don't ask what it is. 2. Eat it anyway." Everything's always very good, even if I can't tell exactly what it is.

Until you get Phil's beet salad that looks more like Jello salad.  You expect sweet gelatin and get hot and sour beets.
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« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2008, 04:16:17 PM »

^ Oh, that's still very good, just not what I thought it was. Boy, it is a shocker though.
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« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2008, 04:42:24 PM »

Services until around 2:30, then go down to the basement for lamb dinner and chatting, getting done around 3:30.  Agape at 11am, if you can make it on little sleep.  Agape lasts about 45 minutes, then everybody goes home.  I hear there used to be a lot more to the celebrations, but for some reason, they don't do that anymore.
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« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2008, 06:56:02 PM »

Started services at 11pm.  Ended around 2am.  The community meal is simple: soup, bread, egg, and feta.

Of course, a select group of us came to my office where we cooked burgers on a Foreman Grill. Mmmmmmm.  Bacon Burgers.
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« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2008, 09:19:00 PM »



Go to hall, eat pascha baskets. 
Wow. How'd that taste? Wink
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« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2008, 09:30:26 PM »

In our parish, we have our baskets blessed after the Paschal liturgy and dig into them afterwards.  We visit other tables and share what is in our Pascha baskets with each other.  We have our big feast after the Agape Vespers on Sunday afternoon.  We usually have lamb, turkey, ham, chicken and many salads, side dishes, and desserts.  Our parish is the only Orthodox church in the area, so we have people of all the traditional Orthodox ethnicities, as well as many converts, so we get a wide range of foods.  After the dinner, we have Easter egg hunts and activities for the kids.
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« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2008, 11:24:55 PM »

Let's see...

  • Paschal Nocturnes at 11:30 p.m.
  • Paschal Procession at 12 a.m.
  • Paschal Matins immediately following
  • Paschal Divine Liturgy, which ended at about 2:30 a.m.
  • A big potluck banquet with all kinds of meat (lamb, ham, fried chicken), cheese, decadent desserts, wine, and beer in our parish hall until about 4 a.m.

Then we went home to sleep.  Many of us returned for Agape Vespers at 1 p.m., followed by a barbecue of pork ribs and hot dogs to go with a plenteous supply of more desserts, root beer floats, and beer.  An Easter egg hunt for the little kids, and a cake walk for the bigger kids.  And for our closing entertainment, we even had a 10-year-old solo violinist grace us with her musical skills.
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« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2008, 01:29:55 AM »

Christ is Risen

Most Greek Orthodox light the candle, say Christ is Risen and depart church en masse for big parties or nightclubs.  For a majority of people who leave at midnight, lighting the Paschal candle is the only time they attend church other than a funeral and/or a memorial service for their long departed ancestors.  I do not know if the phenomenon exists in other Orthodox jurisdictions; I imagine that it does to a lesser extent.

With rainy conditions on the East Coast, half the congregation at one church left as soon as Christ is Risen was declared.  Some people may have had small children who were sleeping except that Easter Sunday is the only day where half the church leaves.  A lot of Greek Orthodox have lost their sense of salvation as they have become kin to the Jews thanks to affluence and a misguided sense of nationalism.
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PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2008, 01:44:38 AM »

Christ is Risen

Most Greek Orthodox light the candle, say Christ is Risen and depart church en masse for big parties or nightclubs.  For a majority of people who leave at midnight, lighting the Paschal candle is the only time they attend church other than a funeral and/or a memorial service for their long departed ancestors.  I do not know if the phenomenon exists in other Orthodox jurisdictions; I imagine that it does to a lesser extent.

With rainy conditions on the East Coast, half the congregation at one church left as soon as Christ is Risen was declared.  Some people may have had small children who were sleeping except that Easter Sunday is the only day where half the church leaves.  A lot of Greek Orthodox have lost their sense of salvation as they have become kin to the Jews thanks to affluence and a misguided sense of nationalism.
And what facts can you cite to justify these sweeping generalizations and assumptions?
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« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2008, 01:53:30 AM »

I agree that the statements made are sweeping generalizations and assumptions and they reflect my own inner opinion.  The facts that are cited are increasing inter-marriage, people celebrating 2 Easters (Western and Eastern), etc.

I never see half the congregation leave during a Divine Liturgy during the other 51 Sundays.  Why leave during the most important, if not, the reason we have the Church to begin with?  The Jews have seder for 8 consecutive nights during Passover; hence, the analogy except that the Greek Orthodox distill down to one day, one candle lighting, one hymn saying.  These people may have free will and freedom and I know that I have no say; except that I have a hard time remaining quiet about it.  Sad
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« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2008, 02:08:08 AM »

I agree that the statements made are sweeping generalizations and assumptions and they reflect my own inner opinion.  The facts that are cited are increasing inter-marriage, people celebrating 2 Easters (Western and Eastern), etc.

I never see half the congregation leave during a Divine Liturgy during the other 51 Sundays.  Why leave during the most important, if not, the reason we have the Church to begin with?  The Jews have seder for 8 consecutive nights during Passover; hence, the analogy except that the Greek Orthodox distill down to one day, one candle lighting, one hymn saying.  These people may have free will and freedom and I know that I have no say; except that I have a hard time remaining quiet about it.  Sad

Brother I used to feel the same but then I realized that the Lord put me on the Earth to worry about my own salvation and not others.
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« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2008, 02:16:33 AM »

If an Orthodox Christian worries only about his/her salvation and not others, what kind of Christian has that person become?

The Publican prayed to "Have mercy on me a sinner."  Not everyone can or wants to be saved and that doesn't imply that one can walk away and throw in the towel.
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« Reply #15 on: April 30, 2008, 02:28:19 AM »

I agree that the statements made are sweeping generalizations and assumptions and they reflect my own inner opinion.  The facts that are cited are increasing inter-marriage, people celebrating 2 Easters (Western and Eastern), etc.

I never see half the congregation leave during a Divine Liturgy during the other 51 Sundays.  Why leave during the most important, if not, the reason we have the Church to begin with?  The Jews have seder for 8 consecutive nights during Passover; hence, the analogy except that the Greek Orthodox distill down to one day, one candle lighting, one hymn saying.  These people may have free will and freedom and I know that I have no say; except that I have a hard time remaining quiet about it.  Sad
This is nothing more than conjecture and emotional reaction based on extremely limited experience and, as you yourself admit, personal opinion.  I hardly think this sufficient to assert as you do that this is even general practice throughout your own Greek Orthodox Archdiocese.
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« Reply #16 on: April 30, 2008, 02:31:34 AM »

This is nothing more than conjecture and emotional reaction based on extremely limited experience and, as you yourself admit, personal opinion.  I hardly think this sufficient to assert as you do that this is even general practice throughout your own Greek Orthodox Archdiocese.

Peter In my dioceses of Melbourne this situation happened in 80% of the churches ( I had friends in most of them). But like you said It is impossible to tell whether or not it is a general practice. 
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« Reply #17 on: April 30, 2008, 02:57:06 AM »

Peter In my dioceses of Melbourne this situation happened in 80% of the churches ( I had friends in most of them). But like you said It is impossible to tell whether or not it is a general practice. 

Part of my issue is that SolEX01's statement,
I imagine that it does to a lesser extent.
, is a classic example of the logical error of induction.  He is drawing conclusions about other Orthodox jurisdictions based on his very limited experiences of a very small segment of one jurisdiction.

One thing we need to consider when making judgments like this is that Orthodox Pascha services are a big draw even for the non-Orthodox--at least they are in my parish, though I can't speak authoritatively for any others.  Non-Orthodox relatives of Orthodox parishioners...  Non-Orthodox friends of the parish...  Guests invited by parishioners...  Neighbors wondering what the commotion is all about...  This is such a reality in my parish that my priest will actually encourage many to feel free to leave between Matins and the Divine Liturgy by announcing that "if anyone (i.e., the non-Orthodox) wants to leave, now is the time to do so."
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« Reply #18 on: April 30, 2008, 03:00:19 AM »

Part of my issue is that SolEX01's statement, , is a classic example of the logical error of induction.  He is drawing conclusions about other Orthodox jurisdictions based on his very limited experiences of a very small segment of one jurisdiction.

One thing we need to consider when making judgments like this is that Orthodox Pascha services are a big draw even for the non-Orthodox--at least they are in my parish, though I can't speak authoritatively for any others.  Non-Orthodox relatives of Orthodox parishioners...  Non-Orthodox friends of the parish...  Guests invited by parishioners...  Neighbors wondering what the commotion is all about...  This is such a reality in my parish that my priest will actually encourage many to feel free to leave between Matins and the Divine Liturgy by announcing that "if anyone (i.e., the non-Orthodox) wants to leave, now is the time to do so."

Some Presbyterian friends of our new Deacon's wife (ahem...he is newly a deacon) have come for 4 years now...and they live in San Francisco an hour away!  And they were one of the last ones to leave the meal after 4 am.
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« Reply #19 on: May 01, 2008, 12:07:09 AM »

Christ is Risen
Truly He is Risen!

Most Greek Orthodox light the candle, say Christ is Risen and depart church en masse for big parties or nightclubs.  For a majority of people who leave at midnight, lighting the Paschal candle is the only time they attend church other than a funeral and/or a memorial service for their long departed ancestors.  I do not know if the phenomenon exists in other Orthodox jurisdictions; I imagine that it does to a lesser extent.
I completely understand your concerns as this has happened to a lesser extent at my parish as well.  One of my fellow choir members used to say, "And they're off!"  Though this year seemed a lot better than past years I can't say which ethnic group it was/is, nor can I possibly guess where they're going or even why, but it does also trouble me as well.  I certainly don't mean to sound judgemental as I have no clue, as I already mentioned, as to where they're going or why they're leaving.  I only know that the world would be very different if we all attended church as enthusiastically every Sunday as most of us here do on Pascha.  What to do?  Pray.  Pray for them and for us.
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« Reply #20 on: May 01, 2008, 12:40:40 AM »

Part of my issue is that SolEX01's statement, , is a classic example of the logical error of induction.  He is drawing conclusions about other Orthodox jurisdictions based on his very limited experiences of a very small segment of one jurisdiction.

Fair enough, since I have not worshiped the Easter service in any other jurisdiction besides GOA, I did make a faulty induction and the last sentence of my original post was interpreted as drawing conclusions about other jurisdictions based on my lack of knowledge.  Sad
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« Reply #21 on: May 01, 2008, 02:29:58 AM »

I happened to be in a Greek church that's bran new.tons of people...From 11pm saturday till the liturgy at 12 midnight.very beautiful no organ....quite a lot of people left before the Holy liturgy started..But also quite alot remained for the Holy liturgy and the lamb meal after....Everything was great.......Christ has Risen......SmileyCentral.com" border="0
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« Reply #22 on: June 27, 2008, 05:31:00 PM »

I never see half the congregation leave during a Divine Liturgy during the other 51 Sundays.  Why leave during the most important, if not, the reason we have the Church to begin with?  The Jews have seder for 8 consecutive nights during Passover; hence, the analogy except that the Greek Orthodox distill down to one day, one candle lighting, one hymn saying.  These people may have free will and freedom and I know that I have no say; except that I have a hard time remaining quiet about it.  Sad

A GOA priest in Texas published this article on OrthodoxyToday.org  I've excerpted 3 paragraphs which supports what I wrote above:

The roots of this syndrome lay in a coarse misunderstanding of the Christian faith. For many faith is reduced to an intellectual acknowledgment of God, and, arriving at this stage, they believe they truly know God. They live with the idea that Christianity is a sort of philosophy or theoretical concept that once understood we can just toss it aside and maybe review it once or twice a year, for the sake of our grand mothers. From their perspective God can be anything: a generic supreme being, an energy, a force field, it doesn't really matter because it is too distant anyway.

But nothing is more wrong than this. Christianity is not a sterile philosophy about life, but is the very accomplishment of life's maximum potential. Christianity is lived not only acknowledged. Our God is not a concept or an obscure pagan energy, but is a personal God above anything else.

God is a Trinity of persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. These three Persons relate to one another and love one another in the most perfect harmony that one could imagine. As humans we are called to participate in this relationship, to partake in the love of the Trinity and adopt it as a model for our lives. We are called therefore to actively participate in life and to relate with God and one another, not just to passively conceptualize a dry code of laws imposed to us from outside.


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