In the court yard, families stand side by side in a winding snake like formation. All are focused on a Pasxa morning blessing. The baskets of food are uncovered. The priest and several acolytes slowly pass along the line chanting “Christ is Risen” and then in response “He is Risen Indeed.” Along with the chant, copious amounts of holy water are slung onto the food and families. All cross themselves and some fall to their knees in an act of humility as if before the risen Christ.
Luda has an advantage with her crutches. The people seem to part to give her space. I follow her in her prayers. A few candles are lit and placed on pedestal displays. Their reflection shines in the massive golden altar stretching from floor to ceiling and wall to wall.
I remember family and friends who I know are having difficult times. I think of the blessings we all havein sharing each day. After an hour or so, Luda asks, “Ready to go?” I am.
We pass by the beggars again giving a few extra coins . I take photos of the church and the priest blessing more families and Pasxa food. My Ukrainian church time ends as the blessings of Pasxa begin.