I am surprised how lonely it felt this year with Pascha being so far off the American calendar. Normally when my Dad was alive we would celebrate the day with a huge crab and shrimp feast since we were still in the Great Fast. This year, Mackenzie suggested we do the same though it was just the three of us. We had a great dinner last night and we love getting together with Mackenzie any chance we get but without the boys here and for whatever reason I really just miss my Dad this time of year.
It was weird seeing all the stores closed and not business as usual as one might expect.It was nice to see commerce put on hold and not subverted as Christmas seems to have fallen prey to crass commercialism.
A few years back we had a Big Fat Pascha Celebration at the house and invited friends and neighbors but it was short lived as we came to realize that no one else but other Orthodox share in the joy of the celebration and it made no sense to them why we put on such a meat fest. We spent the last 50 days or so abstaining from foods but no one else had so they really didn't get it. Then the fact we were celebrating the Resurrection when they had all done so weeks earlier kind of deflated the whole idea.
So some of the things I learned from our journey this year so far:
We (Brenda and I) are minor participants this year due to circumstances that will take us out of town during Holy Week so we feel a bit disconnected. We have not been able to attend a Pre Sanctified service this year. I have not served the altar for a year now so it feels a bit out of whack.
The AHEPA organization conducted their Fish Fry during the regular season of Lent so we are left out for the rest of our Fast.
Discussions with several others of different faiths revealed that we don't share the same zeal and joy of the Passion. In our faith it is really a big deal but others, not so much, at least I didn't feel any real excitement. Most folks I spoke with are completely oblivious to the Liturgical cycle that leads to the feast. I saw mega church celebrations with rock concerts and entertainment at major venues and re enactments of the Passion in modern times on TV. None of it rang particularly true for me.