SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – On Sunday, Greek Orthodox Christians will celebrate Easter.
These services are pretty special because it’s been two years since the congregation was able to gather in person.
This time last year the congregation at St. George’s Greek Orthodox Church were watching their Good Friday service through a screen. But this year, they were able to enter the church doors, take a seat in the pews, and reunite through song and prayer as a community.
“It’s very important for us to be back because the church is all about the people, we make the church,” said Rev. Father Dionysios Koulianos at the Saint George’s Greek Orthodox Church in Springfield. “I feel that everybody, gradually, they find the connection they need with one another.”
The church is telling the community to only come to service if they’re comfortable. But for many, masks and hand sanitizer are small inconveniences for in-person service.
“It’s definitely a wonderful feeling to be back here, especially to be back as a whole, although it’s not the same with the masks theologically, it’s wonderful to be here,” said George Patrakis, head altar boy. “Hearing the choir again and seeing the priest and serving in the alter, it’s definitely a spiritual bond that you really miss while you’re at home.”
This Good Friday, the candles might symbolize more than the light of Christ. Perhaps, a hope for brighter days beyond the restrictions of a global pandemic.
“I can tell you that from this pandemic, we all learned so much,” Rev. Fr. Koulianos. “And I have to say that the happiest moment is when everybody sees each other, eye to eye.”
The Church’s Easter service will begin Sunday at 11 a.m.