The Significance of Greek Orthodox Easter with Funerals

Within the Greek Orthodox Church, Easter or ‘Pascha’ is one of the most significant events of the religious calendar, and the greatest of celebrations, enjoyed by millions of Greeks across the globe. At the conclusion of Holy Week; the week where the Orthodox Church relives the last week of the life of Jesus; we celebrate by sharing food, loving company and traditions by exchanging red coloured eggs, and saying ‘Hristos Anesti!’ to one another. Simply said, Pascha means Passover in reference to the eternal Passover from death to eternal life in heaven. ‘Hristos Anesti’ means ‘Christ is risen!’ At funerals on many occasions, priests chant ‘Hristos Anesti’ as he does on Easter Sunday. In fact, the icon that is placed on the coffin at funerals and kissed at viewings is the icon of The Anastasi, or the icon of The Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Hence the significance of Greek Easter with funerals; we believe that when we die, when we pass over, we too defeat death just like Jesus Christ did, and pass over to a life of eternity in heaven

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