Thursday, 5 May 2016
Barton Electorate: Orthodox Easter
Last week I had the privilege of participating in the celebration of Orthodox Easter with my family, my community and fellow Orthodox members of the electorate of Barton. Easter is, above all, the most sacred observance in the Orthodox faith. It is a time to mourn, to celebrate, to love and to come together under one faith. On our holiest day, Holy Friday, we see flags hung at half mast; however, with great mourning and sorrow come hope and renewal.
Perhaps what is most impressive to see in these celebrations is the traditional customs continued into modern celebrations and, furthermore, to see those traditional customs undertaken across generations and by entire families and communities. That is what makes Orthodoxy so special in my electorate. One such tradition is that of the egg. From ancient times, the egg has been a symbol of the renewal of life, with the red egg signifying victory over death.
The Orthodox community accounts for a significant proportion of my electorate of Barton, and it always brings me such pride and joy to spend time with members of all faiths. This could not be more evident than with the outpouring of love, celebration and worship at the midnight mass held at the Greek Orthodox Church in Kogarah under the care of Archimandrite Sophronios Konidaris and Father Angelo Masteas. So to all members of the House, and to all members of the electorate of Barton: Christos Anesti—Christ has risen.