For those of you who don’t know, I’m Greek. I was also raised Greek Orthodox and, while I don’t identify as such anymore, this time of the year is still a special one for me.
In the Greek Orthodox Church, the week we are in now is Holy Week. Yesterday, my mother and I spent the day making tsoureki, a traditional sweet bread. It is a fairly labor-intensive process and requires a lot of patience – especially when dealing with the yeast. I don’t know what it is, but our yeast never seems to proof right despite our efforts. Even after running out to the store and buying brand new yeast, it still fell flat. So, our loaves aren’t too big, but they are tasty just the same.
In the evening, we went to church. The Good Friday service commemorates the death of Jesus on the Cross. The congregation also lights candles and sings the lamentations, of which there are three parts. This is actually the only aspect of Greek Church I don’t mind being present for and I was slightly disappointed because the church we went to sang the lamentations differently from the one I went to growing up. Oh well. After, the Epitaphios is carried around the church. The Epitaphios represents the body of Jesus as it would have been carried to the tomb and is usually heavily decorated with fresh flowers.
After, my mom and I went home. We will go to church again tonight, for Holy Saturday. Then, tomorrow is Easter!