>Holy Saturday: Arise O Lord! and Making Lamb Soup

>What a glorious day! Holy Saturday is the first and early announcement of the Resurrection… and typically the service when catechumens are baptized and/or Christmated. Father John Troy Christmated twelve new members this morning at Saint John in Memphis!
Here’s Catilyn Manning with her sponsor, Meribeth Harvey. I’m sure Caitlyn will have some yummy things to say about the day on her blog.

My favorite part of the service is when my husband, Father Basil, cries out, “Arise, O Lord, and judge the earth!” and comes out of the altar and throws bay leaves and rose petals everywhere! It’s sooooo joyous. The bay leaves and flowers represent our victory over sin and death. I love the way they smell together… sweet and tart. Like life.

Again, it takes a long time to download these vidoes, so I’ll be short on words and long on videos. If you want to download any of these, I think you can RIGHT-CLICK on them and follow the directions. The choir, directed by Margaret Elliott, was AMAZING, as usual. Listen to these!!!

drat! I can’t get the first one to download… maybe it’s too long… it’s when the twelve catechumens were processing to the front of the nave and everyone was singing. Oh, well…
The next one is when Father Basil comes out of the altar with the bay leaves and rose petals and begins singing “Arise O Lord and judge the earth!”

The final one is when he goes up into the choir loft to throw bay leaves and rose petals at the choir and over the balcony. If you think this is joyful, wait until the Pascha service tonight!

Julia and I met at the church kitchen at 4 to start the traditional Greek Lamb Soup. It’s called Mayiritsa in Greek. Here’s an article about it (but not the recipe we used.) And another one here, spelled Mayeritsa. I ordered the ground lamb ahead of time from the butcher at Schnuck’s. First you brown it, then drain the fat and cover it with water and start simmering it.

Then you chop up lots of green onions and yellow onions and brown them in real butter. Near the end you stir in lots of chopped up parsley and cilantro. Then a bunch of dill. You add all this to the meat in the pot and simmer for an hour.

Then you put the pot in the refrigerator for a few hours (or a day or two ahead, if you prefer.) Meanwhile, you squeeze a bunch of lemons and mix the lemon juice with cornstarch in a jar and save it for later.

When we come back to the church for the Pascha service tonight (at 11 p.m.) we’ll take the soup out of the refrigerator, skim off the fat, and slowly warm it during the service. At the last minute, we’ll stir in the lemon juice and cornstarch mixture, as well as a dozen or so beaten eggs.

When Julia’s father, Andy, was alive, I remember that all he wanted (at 2 a.m.!) on Pascha morning was a cup of lamb soup and a glass of champagne. He converted me to this practice several years before he died. Those Greeks know how to celebrate! I’ll be thinking of Andy and Urania tonight as we crack our red eggs together and say, “Cristos Anesti! Alithos Anesti!” (Christ is Risen! Indeed, He is Risen!) Or, in Arabic, “Masiah Qam!”