This year western and Orthodox feasts of the Resurrection fell on the same day, although this is not usually the case. When I was growing up, our family would generally celebrate Easter twice, once at our Presbyterian (and later Baptist) church and with our immediate family, and again a week or two later with my father’s Greek Cypriot relatives. This sense of being part of two cultures is the origin of my tongue-in-cheek moniker, Byzantine-Rite Calvinist. At my young age it seemed appropriate that Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, given its pivotal character in the economy of salvation, should warrant two celebrations and not just one.
This is the ancient paschal hymn known to generations of Orthodox Christians which I would hear in my aunt and uncle’s church near Chicago:
Χριστός ανέστη εκ νεκρών, θανάτω θάνατον πατήσας και τοις εν τοις μνήμασιν, ζωήν χαρισάμενος.
Christ is risen from the dead, by death trampling down death, and giving life to those within the grave.