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Traditions - The Easter Procession
Prepared by Very Reverend Archimandrite Alexander Kile.
The priest assisted by the acolytes who carry, the fans, the incensor, the icon of the resurrection and the banner of the resurrection leave the church. In the mean time the choir, who leads the procession sings: " The angels sing your resurrection oh Christ our Savior, in heaven and us on earth make us worthy with clean heart to glorify You ".
Outside on a makeshift stand, the priest goes and reads the Gospel of resurrection and proclaims the Risen Lord. The gospel explains how early in the morning before the sunrise the myrrh bearing women went to the grave to put the oil and the essences on the body of Christ, according the Jewish rituals of preparing the body of a deceased person. That they found the stone rolled and the tomb empty, etc.
This is followed with the Hymn of resurrection "Christ is Risen from the dead; by His death He has trampled upon death and to those in the tombs He has bestowed Life". Everybody sings this hymn and embraces each other by saying Christ is Risen/ Truly He is risen.
After the petitions the procession starts returning to the church for the rest of the service. All the lights and vigil lights at the church are lit. Everybody follows the Easter Matins and Pascal Divine Liturgy with their candles lit.
The Easter procession is a reminder of the original Baptismal Procession, which brought the newly baptized, converts or catechumens from darkness of paganism into the Light of Christ, from death unto life. It is an expression of the believer's own personal Passover from darkness to sin, to the light and brightness of the kingdom of God.
The Easter procession reaches its conclusion in the celebration of the Divine Liturgy, where we meet the RISEN LORD as the disciples did, through Holy Communion.
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