Friday, 2 April 2010

It's all Greek to me: Good Friday in our street

Nothing much happens in our street, but at Easter it is always cordoned off so the patrons of the local Greek Orthodox Church can follow the Holy Cross in a candlelit procession that takes them around the block.

I tend to forget about this Greek tradition because it sometimes falls either side of Good Friday. But this year it coincided with public holiday, and the Greek community was out in force.

Every year I hear the procession before it arrives. And by 'hear' I mean my ear detects a change in the outside environment. It's quiet. The distant throb of the occasional car engine is replaced by a gentle murmer and the footsteps of 1000 women, men and children - each year their number increases.

Nearly everyone carries a candle, so the street becomes a warm blur of flickering butter-yellow lights. At the roundabout at the base of the hill the Holy Cross, which is held aloft in its canopied carriage by four men, stops and the Greek Orthodox priest chants a hymn.

The crowd then continues up the hill and back to the church. I feel like our little pocket of surburbia has been blessed.

Have a peaceful Easter.


Eleni Konstantine said...

I can imagine the noise Shayne, having been part of the service many atime. Not this year mind you. And yes every four years, we have the same Easter weekend. Last year it was the biggest gap of about 6 weeks between the two Easters, which makes us have to make sure we have gotten Easter eggs before the shops stop selling them. :)

Hope you and yours had a lovely Easter.

Shayne said...

Thanks for that Eleni. Every four years... interesting. I know there's sometimes a long break between the 'usual' Good Friday and the Greek Easter - something to do with the full moon.