Finally Easter weekend has arrived in the Eastern world. At this posting Good Friday is over and it is on Saturday that we prepare eggs by boiling them in brown onion skins, then they’ll be decorated.
Churches in the East refer to the day as “Holy Friday“ and the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, led divine services – vespers and matins – in Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral on Holy Friday.
Meanwhile a Russian delegation left Friday for Jerusalem to get Holy Fire. Upon their return it will be delivered in time for the Easter service at Christ the Savior Cathedral. The Easter liturgy begin at midnight and lasts into the early morning hours on Sunday.
The Holy Fire is lit every year in Jerusalem at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher on the day preceding Orthodox Easter. Orthodox Christians believe it to be a miracle.
For 40 days before Easter Orthodox believers observe the Great Lenten fast in which no meat, meat products, milk, eggs, alcohol or oil is consumed in meals. This tradition which is marked by all the Orthodox churches worldwide calls believers to prayer and repentance and is a small picture of the isolation and plain diet which Christ experienced during the 40 day period prior to his resurrection. The strictest day of the fast is the day before Easter with no food consumed after Noon on Saturday.