I was raised in the Russian Orthodox Church, and Easter was the greatest Festival of the Christian year – and one that stirred my soul from the time I was a little boy. On Friday we brought a basket of food – our Easter breakfast – to the church where was a life-sized icon of Jesus on top of a real casket – pierced hands, feet, and all. People actually cried. Saturday was a quiet day: we did not eat and our parents limited our activity.
Saturday night we went to church at 11:00 PM. The church was dark and the music somber. About 11:45 PM a large congregation began to walk around the church three times, knocking at the front door three times, looking for the body of Jesus. We were turned away twice until the third time when the doors flew open, the place was blazing with candles and the choir sang joyously! If you wonder why I believe so strongly in the raising of Jesus – I have lived it!