11 April 2007

The Paschal greeting

Somehow "Happy Easter" just doesn't cut it. At church on sunday I very much wanted people to follow the Orthodox tradition and greet me with "Christ is risen!" to which I would then respond: "Truly he is risen!" In our family we do this in Greek: "Χριστός ανέστη!" "Αληθώς ανέστη!" (Remember the post-vigil scene at Dancing Zorba's restaurant in My Big Fat Greek Wedding?) In Russian it is rendered thus: "Христос Воскресе!" "Воистину Воскресе!" Yesterday one of my students, an Orthodox Christian with Lebanese roots, taught me the greeting in Arabic.

Later in the day I discovered this marvellous website, Pascha Polyglotta, that gives us the ancient greeting in 250 languages (but not Russian or Old Church Slavonic for some reason). Each example of the greeting contains a sound file with pronunciation. It's a great resource and certainly worth bookmarking to gain a sense of the sheer diversity, yet catholicity, of Christ's church. (Hat tip to Orthodox Wiki.)

Later: While we're at it, I will link here to something I posted last year on the meaning of our English word Easter: Easter: what's in a name?

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