Joy Day

The Tuesday after Bright Week has apparently been designated “Joy Day” by some Orthodox. I couldn’t say which ones, exactly (though it might be interesting to find out), but for sure the Antiochian Orthodox of Mid-America. And how is joy day celebrated? Why, by a Liturgy followed by an outing to the local graveyards to sing Pascha hymns at the graves of reposed congregants. Today about 10 of us visited the Santa Fe national cemetery, an old, interesting, but somewhat neglected cemetery that was originally established as a place to bury “outsiders” (at the time, non-Catholics), and a newer park-like cemetery where all the markers were set flat in the ground, and sang “Christ is Risen!” and other Pascha songs at five graves. Usually someone said something about the person the grave belonged to, and especially their death. The phrase that kept coming forward with each person was “he (or she) had a holy death.” The whole thing was pretty neat, though admittedly in a “takes some getting used to” kind of way.

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