Bright Week with Our Family!

Resurrection

I mentioned in the previous post about Holy Week and Pascha that we are not on the Gregorian calendar but on the revised Julian calendar for Pascha (Easter). So today is Holy Tuesday for us and we are going to have a busy week and look forward to Pascha night. I said I would put together a post sharing what we do for Bright Week, so here it is. Following Pascha is Bright Week, for those who may not know what Bright Week is here is an explanation from orthodoxwiki.org:

Bright Week or Renewal Week (in Greek: Διακαινήσιμος εβδομάδα, Diakainisimos) is the first week following the Resurrection of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, which is celebrated each year at Pascha. It ends the following Sunday, the Sunday of St. Thomas. For Orthodox Christians Bright Week begins a period of celebration that continues for fifty days until Pentecost.

This celebration includes the practice of the faithful joyously greeting each other with the salutation of Christ is risen, followed by the response indeed He is risen or truly He is risen, as the whole of creation is renewed by Our Lord and Savior. The services of Bright Week are done with the Royal Doors fully open. This unblocked view of the altar symbolizes the open door of Christ’s empty tomb as well as the rent veil of the Jewish Temple, which was torn apart at the moment Christ died.

The entire week is considered to be one continuous day and the main reason why fasting is completely prohibited to all Orthodox during the week[2].

Every Bright Week we celebrate as much as we can! Each day I make or we buy food that we have been fasting from, we enjoy desserts, and have fun together as a family. In past years we have had outings with friends and enjoyed feasting together at one another’s homes or our favorite restaurants. We have taken vacations to San Diego and Disneyland during this time of year as well (back when we lived in California). As our family has gotten larger and we have moved to Wisconsin, we more often than not stay closer to home with only a couple of day trips out during the week but still we have lots of fun. One of the major reasons why we homeschool is so we can participate as much as possible in the liturgical life of the Church. We take Holy Week and Bright Week off of school every year.

After the long work of Great Lent and Holy Week a week long celebration is much needed. This really helps to emphasize for the kids the joy of Christ being Risen. We want them to understand that the joys in this life are a foretaste of what is to come in heaven. These are some pics of previous years Bright Week activities:

With the kids, one of the most missed foods during Lent is a cheeseburger! Bright Monday is always the day we get a yummy burger. Last year we took the back roads up to Green Bay, enjoyed the drive and scenery and had a delicious lunch from Al’s Hamburgers.

Last year we found the best burger joint around! Al's Hamburger--we hope we can go back this year!

Last year we found the best burger joint around! Al’s Hamburger–we hope we can go back this year!

 

Lorenzo enjoyed his burger!

Last winter was so long and record breaking cold. We were so thrilled just to be able to go outside once spring finally came! During Bright Week we went to the park a lot, and happily got the yard cleaned up for our garden. We surprised the girls with items for a fairy garden, including flowers which they planted. The boys shot their bows and arrows while the girls readied their little section of the yard. Scarlett was happy to be able to sit outside and enjoy the breeze while reading a book.

We spent a few days just being outside for as long as possible. One day we got pizza and the kids blew bubbles and wrote with chalk all over the sidewalks, another day they planted flowers and played in the yard. We also had a BBQ and Manny enjoyed his pipe as much as possible! We simply relaxed, enjoyed each others company and spent the evenings watching movies or playing games together.

Vivi getting the fairy house ready.

Vivi getting the fairy house ready.

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Diego shooting his bow and arrow.

 

One day we went to downtown Manitowoc and the kids were happy to go to the library for books and to play with all the toys there. We walked around downtown, stopped into the candy shop for some sweets, and just enjoyed window shopping and having nothing at all to do but have fun and relax!

 

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We also made a trip to Milwaukee and went to one of the museums and spent the day seeing the city. The kids make sure to get as much ice cream in their bellies as possible this week! And random singing of “Christ is  Risen” happens all of Pascha season but especially during Bright Week. Many mornings we will wake up to Diego singing something from Pascha services at the top of his lungs while in bed still. This is always our most joy-filled time of year!

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Ice Cream, Ice Cream, and more Ice Cream!!!

 

 

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Magdalena in the butterfly exhibit at the museum in Milwaukee.

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and more ice cream!!!

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This Bright Week will be low key since the new baby is due very soon, but it will be fun and filled with lots of feasting and singing and laughs. What plans do ya’ll have for your Bright Week?

 

3 Comments

  1. Do you belong to Catholic Church?

  2. Thank you very much. My husband’s grandfather was a Byzanatine (Ruthenian) Catholic priest before his death in 1943 and his cousin is a Byzantine (Hungarian) Catholic priest. As long as my husband can remember, they celebrated Christmas and Easter at the same time as the Roman Rite. My husband’s grandmother on his father’s side was Roumanian. It’s nice to know that we all belong to the same Catholic Church, but with different traditions. May God bless you and your family during your Holy Week and Easter.

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