BRIGHT WEEK, A WEEK OF SUNDAYS
“This is the day which the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Prokeimenon of Pascha Sunday, Ps 117/118:24)
This week following Pascha Sunday, known as “Bright Week” in Orthodox Christian tradition, our church-services focus on repeating the hymns and prayers of Pascha Sunday, as if every day of this week were a Sunday, or, more specifically, Pascha Sunday. And the usual Hours are replaced with one and the same “Paschal Hour(s),” with the hymnography of Pascha. The point of this repetitiveness is to call us to contemplate the new “now,” the new “today” that has dawned, as a result of Christ’s “pascha,” Christ’s “pass-over” or transition from death to life. “Oh Pascha! A deliverance from sorrow, which comes from the Tomb today!” we sing in one of the hymns of this Day that lasts all week. I am called always, every day and every hour, to be making this transition, from death-bringing thinking and being, to life-bringing thinking and being, in Christ. His Way, of the death-trampling Cross, is our Way now, in our new “now.” In communion with Him, in conscious contact with Him, we can always make this transition, reaching out to His outstretched hand, as do Adam and Eve from their tombs, as depicted in the icon of the Resurrection. “Christ is risen from the dead,” dear friends, “trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs,” – all of us, who every now and then become trapped in this or that “tomb” of death-bringing attitudes, – “bestowing life!” So let me take pause today, and let myself rejoice and be glad in Him, Who pulls me out of my self-inflicted tombs. This is the day which the Lord has made, my friends. Let us rejoice and be glad in it!