Easter in Moscow

I’ve always wanted to see the Easter Liturgy in Moscow. First, because of Maurice Baring’s wonderful description in The Puppet Show of Memory, but also because I have a friend who was actually converted by it. He had been raised a complete atheist and knew practically nothing about religion. But then one Holy Saturday he was stuck in Moscow on account of the trains not running or something. He resigned himself to walking through the streets all night, but then found a church, went in, stayed the whole night there, and was converted.

Now I find that the Patriarchate has posted youtube clips of pretty much the whole service (part 1 above). First comes Matins, with the procession around the outside of the Church described by Baring. My favorite part though starts at about the 38 minute mark when first the patriarch and then one after another the other bishops and priests enter the sanctuary and then come out again and shout “Хрїстóсъ воскрéсе!” (Christ is Risen!) and the whole church responds “Воистину воскресе!” (He is risen indeed!). I guess it represents the apostles repeatedly checking the grave and proclaiming the Resurrection to one another.

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