submitted by Sydney Magazine on 28.02.2013
Framed - words and photography by Mick Tsikas
Issue No 118 , March 2013, p 15
The place Saint Nektarios Greek Orthodox Church, Burwood
The date Apri112, 2012 The time 10.30pm
I spent the whole Easter week last year at the Saint Nektarios Greek Orthodox Church in Burwood. It's an old, sandstone, former Methodist church, and the icons painted on the walls are amazing.
"This shot was taken at the evening service on Holy Thursday, or Great Thursday, when they celebrate the crucifiction. The priest took the cross, led a procession around the inside of the church and put the cross near the altar. Then the congregation went up, knelt down, crossed themselves and kissed the crucifix. In the Orthodox tradition Easter is the big one, the grand final week for the devout.
"I was baptised Greek Orthodox, but I'm lapsed now. Mum dragged me along as a kid but because the priests all chanted in Byzantine Greek, I didn't understand a thing. They've changed it a little these days, with Greek-Australian priests who repeat the Byzantine Greek in English.
"The oldies are the ones who really hold it together: they go every day during Easter week, three times a day, for two- or three-hour services. Burwood's quite a small church and at midnight on Easter Saturday there would have been about 3000 people spilling out on to the street, singing. It's very moving."
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