The world's Eastern Orthodox Christians celebrated Pascha (Easter) this weekend, a full month later than Western churches this year. This is one of those exotic dates on the calendar that usually draws a little bit of coverage in the mainstream press.
At the very least, journalists spend a few lines trying to explain the mysteries of the ancient Julian calendar and why all those people with candles were marching around in the middle of the night singing (in the haunting Byzantine chant tone 6) the following, in English or the language of a particular parish's ethnic roots:
Thy Resurrection, O Christ Our Savior, the Angels in Heaven sing.
Enable us on Earth to Glorify Thee in Purity of Heart.
In recent years, there has been a growing news-media awareness of the ancient "Holy Fire" rites in Jerusalem, which offers journalists an annual chance to wrestle with claims of the miraculous. My theory is that this news story has, in part, been gaining some traction because of smartphone videos being posted on YouTube each year.
So here is the top of a typical short Associated Press report this time around, with one line that jumped out at me. See if you can spot it.
JERUSALEM (AP) -- Thousands of Christians have gathered in Jerusalem for an ancient fire ceremony that celebrates Jesus’ resurrection.