Kali Anastasi (Happy Resurrection Day)

“Happy Hash Bash!” A chipper woman greets me as I walk down the street on this beautiful, snowy “April” morning. However, a very different holiday is on my mind… it’s Greek Easter (or Gr-easter as my friends jokingly call it) this weekend.

Before I walked into church last night, my mind was racing. All the things I had to do this weekend and in the next two weeks before I graduate (whew) were running again and again through my mind…

I could’ve went and worked on this project last night, I could have worked on my research thesis, I could have went to play basketball, I could’ve gone out with my friends.

The beauty of the service was unparalleled, with the kouvouklion — majestically and intricately designed, covered completely in red and white flowers — placed at the center of the altar to represent the Tomb of Christ, and the entire church singing the hymnals in Greek together.

I was suddenly taken back to a similar time in my life… right around Easter 2014 — with a similar graduation and rite of passage impending. At that time, I stood at the front of the church and gave a speech as part of the St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival. When I got home from the service last night, I went to my computer to find that speech.

“With many people, my friends included, religion is something that is for home, for Sundays, and it is easy to forget about God when I’m around school or other places. And next year I’ll be at college – away from my parents and my church for a much longer period of time, which will make it even harder to stay on the path towards Christ. So with all these problems and obstacles in our way, how do we still build a lasting relationship with God and become servants of the Lord? Well, I would follow the advice of 1st Letter of John 3:18. ‘Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.’” — Cole, circa 2014

In that speech, I really hit on some of the things that are important to me in my life and wondered if they would continue to be important in my future — school, humility, faith, and family; in particular. Well, with this project being so focused on family, I’m suddenly brough back to all the values that come with my Christian family upbringing.

My advice to myself — that actions speak louder than words — is something that I realize that I learned from my grandfather. The actions he took in his life have been powerful, kind, and always done with purpose. How can I make my project (through words, ironically) reflect that sentiment? I think reflecting on my past last night and this morning has given me some good inspiration.

Assumption Greek Orthodox Church in St. Clair Shores, MI with the kouvouklion at the center.

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