LAKEWOOD, OH (WOIO) - Parishioners at Sts. Peter and Paul Orthodox Church in Lakewood gathered this morning for a celebration of the holiest of days on their church calendar: Easter Sunday.
Like millions of Orthodox Christians around the world, parishioners at Sts. Peter and Paul were greeting each other with a traditional exchange.
"It's a joyful day because Christ is Risen. Some people say, 'Indeed he is Risen.' I say, 'Truly he is risen,'" said Fred Carson.
Fred Carson has celebrated Easter at Sts. Peter and Paul Church for as long as he can remember.
"My grandfather would sing the Tropar, and he would start crying because it's joyful, and it gets me verklempt is guess is the word," described Carson.
Orthodox Easter comes later this year than usual.
"It is the latest it can be because basically what needs to happen is, it's the first Sunday after the spring equinox, after the first full moon after Passover, and Passover was very late this year," added Carson.
At the end of the service is the blessing of the baskets. The baskets are filled with meats, cheeses and what's called Pascka bread. Eating what's inside the basket marks the end of a very strict 40 days of fasting leading up to Easter.
"Everything is decked out in white, and it's happy to know that there is something after death. It's comforting to people to know that when you die it's not the end," said Anna Didonato of Brookpark.
The youngest of parishioners celebrate too -- ensuring the Orthodox Easter tradition goes on.
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