For those of you who are not Orthodox Christians, allow me to explain a custom that we Orthodox have. When it is time for us to celebrate Pascha (our name for Easter), we just can't wait until Sunday morning. So we start Saturday evening, sometime between 10 PM and 12 AM, depending on the parish. The service is usually over by 1 or 1:30 AM.
Then, the next afternoon, we have a delightful service called Agape (i.e. Love) Vespers. This is a somewhat scaled-down Vespers service with one added feature that I just love. At Agape Vespers, the Gospel of St. John, Chapter 20, verses 19-31, is read in as many languages as possible. At St. Anthony the Great in Spring, the parish where I have frequently been filling in lately, we had a total of seven languages, including the two I read (English and Serbian) At my home parish, St. Joseph, they had even more languages. Thankfully, my oldest daughter Audrey's boyfriend Jeffrey made a video of the Gospel readings. I thought that I would include that video here for anyone interested in watching it. The video is a little "bumpy" at times, but most of the time it is pretty stable.
The first reader in this video is our pastor Fr. Matthew MacKay, who chants about a third of the passage in English. Then, the same portion is read in Arabic, Latin, Romanian, Spanish, German, Greek, Italian, and French. After this, the two remaining sections of the Gospel are read in succession. By the way, the beautiful girl in the brown shirt is Audrey. She reads Latin very well, if I do say so myself. Turn up your sound and enjoy! Christ is Risen!
Agape Vespers from Fr. James Early on Vimeo.
Nicholas the Wonderworker, Archbishop of Myra
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