Tuesday, April 21, 2009
In the Orthodox Church, the days following Easter are called Bright Week.
Bright Week has proved especially bright for us this year with the birth this morning of Lux, Caitlan and Bjorn's first child.
Lux is the Latin word for light. If ever you want to say “Let there be light” in Latin, it takes only two words: Fiat lux!
They often say that newborn children have a remarkable resemblance to Winston Churchill. This doesn't apply in this case.
We'll be off to Rotterdam in just a little while for a first encounter with Lux.
An incredible week, and we're only two days into it.
All Saturday night and Sunday morning we spent at the church. The Paschal service started at 10 with a 90-minute reading, taken in turns, from the Book of Acts. During the reading, and for about half and hour afterward, the main source of light in the church is a single candle. About midnight, as those who serve around the altar come out from the sanctuary, the candle in each person's hand is lit (that would mean roughly a thousand candles this year) and then the light-bearing Pascal procession exits the church and walks around the block singing a simple but powerful resurrection chant: "Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and to those in the tombs bestowing life." At the gates of the church, there is a reading of one of the Gospel accounts of Christ's resurrection, and then we enter the church, now brightly illuminated -- a palace of light. Eventually the eucharstic Liturgy begins. By now all of us seem to have arrived in a place outside of time. About 4 or 4:30 (no one knows exactly as time has somehow become irrelevant), the service ends with the distribution of red-dyed Easter eggs.
Photos taken over the weekend, from Good Friday until the parish party Sunday night, are posted here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jimforest/sets/72157617076072276/
One other item of good news: A place has finally been found for Lorraine at a nursing home -- Oudtburgh -- in nearby Bergen. We'll be taking her there on Thursday morning. We brought her the news yesterday afternoon when we went to visit, and you could just see the relief on her face. Bergen is a small and very attractive town between Alkmaar and the sea. We're glad and relieved that she'll be at Oudtburgh. A good friend of our had placed her mother there a few years ago; her mother was suffering from Alzheimer's. The care there is really excellent, she assured us. She had researched several nursing homes in the area, and this was her first choice.
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