Holding their white Easter candles, faithful Greeks flocked to the churches on Tuesday night to join the service for Jesus Resurrection, forty days after Easter. They were deeply touched to be allowed to receive the Holy Fire and chant “Christ is Risen” again in or outside a place of worship.
This year, Easter celebrations were different, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Greeks celebrated Jesus Resurrection on April 18 away from the churches as they were shut down due to the lockdown.They watched the service on television or internet.
On May 26, though, they faithful were allowed to return to churches and chant “Jesus is Risen” with reverence and splendor.
They received the Holy Fire for which they have anticipated for the last 40 days. The Holy Fire had arrived in time on Easter Saturday afternoon with a direct flight from Israel, but it was not allowed to be distributed to churches and the congregations.
Some people used the occasion to receive the Holy Communion, as well, as it is tradition during Easter.
The faithful maintained social distancing and in some churches in Lamia the great ceremony was held outdoors.
May 26 is the last day the churches chant “Christ is Risen” in a ceremony that is called “Farewell to Easter.”
Education and Religious Affairs Minister, Niki Kerameos, attended the Resurrection Service at the Metropolitan Church of Athens. The service was held by the Archbishop of Athens and Whole Greece, Ieronymos.