Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church is a parish of the Orthodox Church in America. We are composed of both converts to the faith and "cradle" Orthodox of various backgrounds. On this website you can learn more about the Orthodox faith, as well as about our community. Visitors are always welcome at Christ the Saviour. Many of us started our journey as “visitors.” We say to all: Come and see! Come and experience the unchanged, ancient Christian faith in the Orthodox Church!
For more information, please contact us.
Regular Schedule of Services:
Saturday Evening Vespers – 6:00 PM
Sunday Divine Liturgy – 10:00 AM
Feast day services as announced – see our Schedule of Services.
May 5, 2013 Pascha Photos To Be Posted Soon (Scroll down for more Church photos)
Pascha (Greek: Πάσχα), also called Easter, is the feast of the Resurrection of the Lord. Pascha is a transliteration of the Greek word, which is itself a transliteration of the Hebrew pesach, both words meaning Passover.
Pascha normally falls either one or five weeks later than the feast as observed by Christians who follow the Gregorian calendar. However, occasionally the two observances coincide, and on occasion they can be four weeks apart. The reason for the difference is that, though the two calendars use the same underlying formula to determine the festival, they compute from different starting points. The older Julian calendar's solar calendar is 13 days behind the Gregorian's and its lunar calendar is four to five days behind the Gregorian's. The Pascha date this year is May 5, 2013, next year: April 20, 2014, and April 12, 2015 the year after that.
Celebration of the feast
The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the center of the Orthodox Christian faith. Twelve weeks of preparation precede it. This is made up of pre-lenten Sundays, Great Lent, and Holy Week. The faithful try to make this long journey with repentance, forgiveness, reconciliation, prayer, fasting, almsgiving, and study. When the feast finally arrives, it is celebrated with a collection of services combined as one.
Sometime before midnight, on Holy Saturday the Midnight Office service is chanted. In the Slavic practice, the priest goes to the tomb and removes the epitaphios and carries it through the Royal Doors and places it on the altar table where it remains for forty days until the day of Ascension. In the Byzantine practice, the epitaphios has already been removed (during the Lamentations Orthros on Holy Friday evening).
Paschal matins begins with a procession that starts around midnight. The people leave the dark church building singing, carrying banners, icons, candles, and the Gospel. The procession circles the outside of the church and returns to the closed front doors. The Gospel which tells of the empty tomb is now read. In Syrian practice, following the Gospel reading, the priest beats on the door and takes part in a dialogue with an interlocutor inside the church doors, crying out with the words of Psalm 23:24: "Lift up your heads, O gates! And be exalted, you everlasting doors, that the King of glory may enter in!" Next, the Paschal troparion is sung for the first time, together with the verses of Psalm 67:68 which will begin all of the Church services during the Paschal season.
Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered; let those who hate him flee from before his face! As smoke vanishes, so let them vanish; as wax melts before the fire, So the sinners will perish before the face of God; but let the righteous be glad. This is the day which the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it! Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life!
The doors are opened and the faithful re-enter. The church is brightly lit and adorned with flowers. It is the heavenly bride and the symbol of the empty tomb. The celebrants change to white vestments, the bright robes of the resurrection. The Pascha icon stands in the center of the church, where the grave just was. It shows Christ destroying the gates of hell and freeing Adam and Eve from the captivity of death. There constant proclamation of the celebrant: Christ is risen! The faithful continually respond: Indeed he is risen! amid censing of the icons and the people.
Following the entrance into the church, the Paschal canon ascribed to St. John of Damascus is chanted with the Paschal troparion as the constantly recurring refrain. Matins ends with the Paschal stichera:
O day of resurrection! Let us beam with God's own pride! Let everyone embrace in joy! Let us warmly greet those we meet and treat them all like brothers, even those who hate us! Let all the earth resound with this song: Christ is risen from the dead, conquering death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life!
Next, in some traditions, the Paschal Hours are also sung. At the conclusion, the celebrant solemnly proclaims the famous Paschal sermon of St. John Chrysostom. This sermon is an invitation to all of the faithful to forget their sins and to join fully in the feast of the resurrection of Christ.
Next, the Paschal Divine Liturgy begins with the singing once more of the festal troparion with the verses of Psalm 67:68. The antiphons of the liturgy are special psalm verses that praise and glorify the salvation of God. Again, the troparion is repeated over and over. And the baptismal verse from Galatians: As many as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ (Galatians 3:27) replaces the Thrice-Holy Hymn.
The readings take the faithful back again to the beginning, and announces God's creation and re-creation of the world through the living Word of God, his Son Jesus Christ. The epistle reading is the first nine verses of the Book of Acts. The gospel reading is the first seventeen verses of the Gospel of John. It is customary on this day to read the Gospel in several languages.
The Liturgy of St John Chrysostom continues as usual. Holy Communion has, again and again, the troparion of the Resurrection. It is sung while the faithful partake. To Orthodox Christians, receiving communion on Easter Sunday is very important. Many parishes take the Paschal Sermon of St. John Chrysostom literally and commune all Orthodox Christians who are in attendance.
Day without evening
To the Orthodox, the celebration of Pascha reveals the mystery of the eighth day. It is not merely an historical reenactment of the event of Christ's Resurrection. It is a way to experience the new creation of the world, a taste of the new and unending day of the Kingdom of God.
This new day is conveyed to the faithful in the length of the Paschal services, in the repetition of the Paschal order for all the services of Bright Week, and in the special Paschal features retained in the services for the forty days until Ascension. Forty days are, as it were, treated as one day.
Photo below: Sunday of Orthodoxy, March 24, 2013 (click here for more photos)
Let us set out with joy upon the season of the Fast, and prepare ourselves for spiritual combat.Let us purify our soul and cleanse our flesh, and as we fast from food
let us abstain from every passion. ~ Vespers of Forgiveness ~
Photo below: Forgiveness Sunday Vespers, March 17, 2013 (click here for more photos)
Photo below: Our annual Greek Fest, November 10, 2012