Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Today is the Day of Rejoicing

The first Tuesday following Bright Week (Easter week) is Radonitsa (which means "Day of Rejoicing"). On this day, Orthodox Christians go to the tombs of their loved ones, and share the joy of Pascha with them.

After work, I stopped by Anastasia Titov's grave, for the first time since her funeral. I served a Panikhida (memorial service) for her and some of the other Orthodox people I know who are buried in that cemetery. I was afraid that it would be raining, but the rain stopped just before I got there, and then resumed after I was finished and back in my car. Although Anastasia has no relatives in this part of the country, I could see that I was not the first one there. There were Easter eggs left on her tomb; as well as some palms and pussy-willows, flowers, and a candle decorating her grave.

The words of the Paschal Troparion had a new significance to me, as I sang out loud before her grave:

"Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life."

What a joy it was, indeed... because Indeed He is Risen. And indeed, she is with him, and will rise again just as He is risen.