5 April 2010
For those of you celebrating this weekend, happy Easter. This is a long bank holiday weekend in the UK thanks to the Church of England. It also happens to be the Orthodox Easter as well, which is a rarity as the two easters usually fall on different weekends. (Side note: The difference in timings for Easter is one of the main differences between the Catholic/Protestant and Othodox religions and was a major issue when the churches split in the Middle Ages. Oddly enough, the Irish church followed the Orthodox timing of Easter for most of the first millenium of the current era.)
As it is the pinnacle of the Orthodox calendar, Easter means a lot of church services to attend. Well, for me they are a lot considering my family was more of the CEO type (Christmas and Easter only), if that. The Orthodox services, much like the Catholic stations of the cross services, re-enact the passion, mourning and resurrection of Jesus. My fiance's family usually attends the Friday night service to pay homage and kiss the funeral bier (epidafio), the Saturday morning service when the people makes lots of noise to represent Jesus rising from the dead and the culmination of the weekend, the Saturday midnight service which represents Jesus ascending into heaven.
The Saturday night service is the most recognizable as everyone holds candles to represent the spread of holy light and spirit and it is quite a beautiful scene. It reminds me of my undergraduate college and looking out onto all the lantern lights representing the light of wisdom being passed to everyone.
After this, my fiance tries to keep the light on his candle all the way home (through the rain and car journey) to bless the house. Dangerous? Maybe.
On Sunday, what I traditionally consider Easter, there is a service in the Orthodox church but my fiance's family does not usually go, which is a little strange to me. But I suppose if you have been the night before and stayed until after midnight, it's fine. But as it was Easter Sunday and on special occassions you should have special breakfasts (to start the celebrating off right), I made myself French toast.
Not that French toast is particularly hard to make or even takes a long time, but it definitely has an association with special days. And like all things with syrup, hardly anyone has had it here.
I feel silly describing how to make French toast, but for anyone who doesn't know it is simply bread dipped in beaten eggs and lots of cinnamon, then lightly fried in butter until the eggs are cooked.
Serve with syrup. Or powdered/icing sugar. But syrup is better.