Where are the Easter/Pascha movies?

Orthodox Pascha Icons - St Joseph School for Boys Bookstore

Except for the usual movies about the life of Christ, there are no Easter movies like there are Christmas movies. During Christmas, you can be treated to a plethora of love story type Christmas movies, or Christmas movies about a pastor reigniting his faith through putting others before himself, but there are no such Easter/Pascha movies.

I’d love to see an Easter/Pascha movie where; boy meets girl, girl refuses to have anything to do with him until he begins attending church with her at her Orthodox Christian Church. Boy realizes the love of Christ is what has been missing from his life, dumps girl and becomes a monk. Ok, not really. He doesn’t dump her but he does decide to become Orthodox. The only movie I’ve ever seen like that is, My Big, Fat Greek Wedding.

I did try and look for Easter movies to watch during Lent. I ran across an article where the author listed his personal top 10 favorite movies to watch during Lent. Some were too boring to endure while others had glaring errors in interpretation of scripture. I had to stop watching, The Greatest Story Ever Told when John looks at, Jesus and ask him who He is… really? Uh, duh… that’s your cousin! You grew up with him and his presence within His mother woke you in your mother’s womb. Terrible story telling and too many continuity issues.

I would love to see some movies about Easter/Pascha that do not have stories about bunnies and flower fairies saving the day. A story or two about, Jesus and how what He did for us changed our lives would be great. A story set in modern times… not an autobiographical story. We have plenty of those. A story just like the kind you see popping up during the Christmas season.

My 1st Great Lent

... : Saint Theophylact of Ochrid-Meatfare Sunday, The Last Judgment
Mural of the Last Judgment.

Kondakion (Tone 1)

When You, O God, shall come to earth with glory,
All things shall tremble
And the river of fire shall flow before Your judgment seat;
The books shall be opened and the hidden things disclosed!
Then deliver me from the unquenchable fire,
And make me worthy to stand at Your right hand, righteous Judge!

I think that perhaps if more non-Orthodox Churches had awesome murals such as this, showing the Last Judgment, more Christians would take their faith serious.

I made my first Koliva for the memorial service our church held on Saturday. I started on Thursday, and finished up decorating them on Saturday morning.

Today is Meatfare Sunday. Then, starting Monday, it’s time to begin fasting. Our first fast category is meat, but eggs and dairy products are permitted, even on Wednesday and Friday.

Here is a fasting schedule taken from the website: http://www.abbamoses.com/fasting.html

First Week of Lent: Only two full meals are eaten during the first five days, on Wednesday and Friday after the Presanctified Liturgy. Nothing is eaten from Monday morning until Wednesday evening, the longest time without food in the Church year. (Few laymen keep these rules in their fullness). For the Wednesday and Friday meals, as for all weekdays in Lent, meat and animal products, fish, dairy products, wine and oil are avoided. On Saturday of the first week, the usual rule for Lenten Saturdays begins (see below).

Weekdays in the Second through Sixth Weeks: The strict fasting rule is kept every day: avoidance of meat, meat products, fish, eggs, dairy, wine and oil.

Saturdays and Sundays in the Second through Sixth Weeks: Wine and oil are permitted; otherwise the strict fasting rule is kept.

Holy Week: The Thursday evening meal is ideally the last meal taken until Pascha. At this meal, wine and oil are permitted. The Fast of Great and Holy Friday is the strictest fast day of the year: even those who have not kept a strict Lenten fast are strongly urged not to eat on this day. After St. Basil’s Liturgy on Holy Saturday, a little wine and fruit may be taken for sustenance. The fast is sometimes broken on Saturday night after Resurrection Matins, or, at the latest, after the Divine Liturgy on Pascha.

Wine and oil are permitted on several feast days if they fall on a weekday during Lent. Consult your parish calendar. On Annunciation and Palm Sunday, fish is also permitted.

We are not only to fast during Lent, but also we are called to increase our prayer life. Prayer and fasting are often mentioned together in the bible as powerful tools against The Enemy, as well as tools intended to draw us closer to God. Lent is not intended as a time of suffering. We are to use it as a time of purification and sanctification. There is a divine, and mystical, purpose to Lent. It is a waste of Lent to merely fast and ‘suffer’ because one is not able to enjoy ‘regular’ eating which I’m sure involves some sort of glutton as we in America are prone to do.

In the churches I grew up in and worshiped in as an adult, protestant churches, not much emphasis was placed on overcoming fleshly desires.  I want to overcome my passions, and food is one of the things I need to overcome. I hope that this Lenten season will be the transformative tool I have been looking for that sets me free. I love that the Orthodox Church provides us with the tools we need to obtain whatever level of sanctification, or asceticism, the Lord has placed within our hearts as our personal goal. Each person’s spiritual walk is individualized but all are pointed toward the same target, sanctification for Eternity with God.

1 Corinthians 10:31English Standard Version (ESV) 31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.