I joined about 10,000 Czechs on April 27 for the annual Národní Pochod pro Život a Rodinu, or National March for Life and Family.
Easter in Prague
Easter is, for me, even more important than Christmas. Our forgiveness of sins and eternal salvation didn’t happen in the manger, it was won for us through Christ’s death on the cross and resurrection from the dead.
So, it seems strange to live in a country where the familiar, “He is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!” at Easter is unfamiliar to so many. I am blessed to have Christian landlords, but once I step outside the gate, I live in one of the most challenging mission fields in the world. Yet, the Christian history of this country is still evident today.
For example, my Czech calendar lists Velký Pátek (Great Friday), and many businesses close in the afternoon. Easter Sunday (Neděle Velikonočni) is also listed as Zmrtvýchvstání Krista, The Resurrection of Christ. Thursday is named Zelený Čtvrtek, or Green Thursday, referring to the days of fasting—only eating green things—until Easter Sunday. Easter Monday (Pondéli Velikonoční) is also a national holiday in the Czech Republic, with most stores and businesses closed.
The church services at my Prague home congregation were familiar, with a few exceptions. We held palm branches at the Czech service on Palm Sunday. Maundy Thursday, or Green Thursday, was a special joint service with our Czech and English congregations together, which I always love. We sang the same hymns with English and Czech words, and the sermon delivered by our Czech pastor was translated into English by our bilingual Czech deacon.
On Good Friday, though, I missed the stripped altar and the solemnity of services in America. I also missed the Easter Sunday traditions that go along with a beautiful Easter morning church service in my Wisconsin home congregation. In Prague, there was no special music, choirs or flowers, and no Easter brunch. But, the familiar message of the empty tomb brought joy, as well as the refrain, “He is risen indeed. Alleluia!”
(to read about a Czech traditional Easter food I tried, click the link below to read the full newsletter)
This month, I remember the history and pray for the future of the Czech people; one thing has never changed for them:
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
Hebrews 13:8 (ESV)
Would you like to arrange a mission presentation for your congregation or see my schedule of visits when I am back in America for home service this fall? Download the entire newsletter to find out more details.