Did you use the Paschal greeting today?

Posted: 23rd March 2008 by ElShaddai Edwards in Uncategorized

I was modestly surprised to read Wikipedia’s account of the Paschal greeting (“Christ is risen”, “He is risen indeed”) in which it states:

The Paschal greeting is an Easter custom among Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Christians, as well as among several Roman Catholic and Protestant Christians.

I’ve used this greeting on Easter for all of my life, at least that I can remember†, and basically assumed that it was a standard Christian thing. So this Orthodox focus in Wikipedia’s notes has thrown me and I wonder how extensive its use actually is? What Protestant denominations use it regularly? Certainly there’s a distinction between personal greetings and liturgical use — “He is risen/indeed” was the focus of a responsive reading in today’s services, which, it must be noted, our (Baptist) church rarely does… that is, responsive reading.

†Despite the presence of several Old-Believer and Russian Orthodox communities in south-central Alaska, I don’t recall them having too much influence on the rest of the local communities, much less the non-Orthodox churches of the area, such as mine. They pretty much kept to their own locations and only came into “town” when supplies were needed.

  1. Bryan says:

    My Church does it, we’re a responsive reading church and baptist. We actually have a lot of liturgical stuff, we just dress it up to look baptist 😉

  2. The traditional liturgical form of the greeting in the West is:

    Alleluia! Christ is risen!
    The Lord is risen indeed, alleluia!

    I’ve heard many people exchange such a greeting before in those circles in which I moved in the past (liturgically minded Dutch Reformed, and also among Lutherans and Episcopalians), but not outside of them. Here in Puerto Rico it is altogether unknown.

    In the Eastern Christian tradition its use is universal, from Pascha to the Ascension, in the form you cite in your post. I’m eagerly looking forward to those forty days, which are five weeks away for me at this point!

  3. Nathan Stitt says:

    Ah, I am ignorant. I was wondering why everyone was commenting on everyone else’s Easter blogging with such greetings. I was raised in the church, but obviously not one that has this tradition. I feel illuminated (and embarrassed).

  4. TC says:

    Well, the closest I came was when I asked my congregation to join me and shout, “He is risen!”

    We’re Low Church.

  5. Kevin Sam says:

    I use it simply because it excites me that the Lord is risen! It is used in most liturgical churches but I’m sure I’ve also heard it in evangelical churches too.

  6. Peter Kirk says:

    It was not widely used in the Church of England when I was young. But now it is. And I have heard it explained as an import from Orthodox churches. So I would go along with Wikipedia’s account.