An Easter Custom at Kavsokalyvia

13 May 2016

Simplicity and love are the characteristic features of Kavsokalyvia. On this is based a wonderful Easter custom: every Easter, the Fathers form groups and go round the houses in order to greet each other, exchanges best wishes and say ‘Christ has risen’ to each other.


And so, this Easter, too, from the hermitage of my teachers, I saw the Fathers in groups, like children carol-singing, going from house to house and all singing ‘Christ has risen’ together, and ‘The Angel cried aloud’ and other Easter hymns, in an outpouring of joyful ebullience. Some groups converged at the same time on the house of Elder Mihaïl, that goodhearted monk from one of the islands, who was so generously kind. After the usual Resurrection hymns, they all sat down for refreshments in the courtyard outside the house. We could see it all clearly from our hermitage. They were sitting on wooden benches. On the open-air table there were red Easter eggs, cheese and wine.

When they had proclaimed their joy and the triumphal cry of our faith, ‘Christ has risen’, with the earthly goods on the table, they took up books of music and sang with matchless grace. Even the angels in heaven would have envied them! Their voices were pure, harmonious and festal in the unbridled exuberance of the Resurrection. They echoed round the gorge, descended to the still waters of the sea and ascended past the peak of Athos itself to the stars in heaven.