Happy Easter! This past week has been a blur. I've been going to many church services for Holy Week and it all culminated in a big Easter liturgy last night. Over the course of the week, I went to a whopping eight different churches including ones in Garden City, Dokki, Shubra, Medinat Nasr, Ard el Golf, Giza, Azbowaya, and Sheraton.
So is Holy Week better in Egypt or America? I choose America but only because they use English. Here, each church I went to had a very different feel to it and some services were much nicer than others. I loved Good Friday in Giza--the church was very small and quiet and peaceful. Great Thursday at Azbowaya was one of the most unpleasant churching experiences I've had in a long time. I felt like Mufasa from the Lion King when he was getting trampled. On the whole, I really did enjoy Holy Week in Egypt and I'm glad I got the experience, but I'm much more comfortable and attentive when prayers are in English.
However, some parts of Holy Week you can only experience in Egypt--like meeting the Pope right before Easter liturgy. Yesterday, on our way to church, my uncle, who is a member of the Maglis el-Mili (or the Coptic Community Council), called asking if we wanted to meet Pope Shenouda the III. I went begrudgingly because we were already so late for liturgy but... I guess it is the Pope. He asked me where I was from. New Jersey. Which church? East Brunswick. You need a new priest since Abouna Bishoy passed away. Yes. God bless you.
It happened so quickly and was very surreal. Four hours later, I was breaking the fast with family and we've been feasting ever since. Pass over more pigeon, please.