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Eastern Orthodox Easter

Common Prayer is Alive

Eastern Orthodox Easter
Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem leads the Easter service at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Recently, I wrote about how (sadly, I think) common prayer is broken.

But – there is still a bit of common prayer around; and when you encounter it, it is wonderful. Eastern and Western Easter was a week apart this year (their separation was one of the breaking of common prayer that I mentioned).

When Western Easter began, lots of my social media became full of Easter images, reflections, music, wishes. Then, when Eastern Easter began, Westerners were still in the afterglow of Easter Day, continuing to post about Easter. So, I was surrounded (online at least) by Easter.

This gives a glimpse of what common prayer was once like, could be like – when Christians are all (most) on the same Bible readings, all (most) praying the same prayer – for the same intention. I was in Greece (and on Mount Athos) during the Easter Season, and people greeted each other not with “Good morning” but with “Christos Anesti (Χριστός Ανέστη)” – Christ is Risen! And replied with, Aληθώς ανέστη (Alithós anésti) “He is Risen, indeed!”

Common prayer is still there, at least to the limited degree I’ve described, at Christmas and Easter. And some of the saints’ days.

You can see that it’s a positive.

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