Churches in Greece will celebrate again Jesus Resurrection on Tuesday, May 26, and the faithful will be able to receive the Holy Fire, something they could not do on Easter Saturday in April due to the pandemic lockdown.
According to a circular issued by the Church of Greece, the Archdiocese urges all churches and monasteries to hold the Divine Liturgy of the Resurrection “in order to give the faithful the opportunity to revive the joy of Easter which they were deprived of due to the coronavirus pandemic.”
The Holy Fire arrived on Easter Saturday, April 18, but state authorities had forbidden its distribution to churches and consequently the congregations in an effort to stem the spread of the virus.
The Church of Greece could not but cooperate with the state and arranged the the faithful would be able to celebrate Jesus Resurrection on May 26, that is forty days after the official celebration and the last time “Jesus has risen” is heard in places of worship.
According to the circular, the Holy Fire will be distributed at 11:45 Tuesday midnight, the Sequence of the Resurrection will start at 00:00 sharp with solemn ringing of the bells and the Divine Liturgy of the Resurrection.
It should be noted that keeping safety distance is essential inside churches. The number of faithful is according to the size of the building. The measure is valid until June 5.
Greek authorities had warned already in March that “this Easter would be different.”
And it is, indeed, different not only because the churches celebrate Jesus Resurrection twice this year.
For the first time ever, Greeks will celebrate Jesus Resurrection and receive the Holy Fire on a Tuesday and not on a Saturday.
Most likely there will be no eggs dyed red, no traditional Easter soup after the church visit and no lamb roasted on the spit on Wednesday noon, a working day.
The pandemic managed to break the deep-anchored Greek tradition that combines the celebration of big religious feasts with the consumption of specific food items, nevertheless following lengthy Lent times.
In April, Greeks celebrated Easter away from the churches but with traditional food and some dance, In May they celebrate in churches with a candle in the hand with without the opulent meals…