When I wrote Catherine’s Pascha, the first thing I wanted was to tell the story of Pascha from the point of view of a child. I wanted a book that celebrates the things about Pascha that give children joy.
But I wanted more than that. I wanted the book to celebrate the universality of Pascha. No matter where we celebrate it, or when, no matter what our local traditions are, on Pascha, we are all celebrating together in the eternal now. We’re bound by time and space, of course. But we also step outside of time and space and join in the universal, timeless, eternal celebration of the Resurrection.
That’s heady stuff for a picture book.
But one of the things I love about Orthodoxy in general, and about Pascha in particular, is the way it forces me to think about time. We live inside time, the way a fish lives in the water. But the most important things in our faith — the Cross, the Tomb, the Resurrection on the third day, the Ascension into heaven, the Sitting at the right hand, and the second and glorious Coming — these things all happened outside of time. They happened before the foundation of the world, and have always happened, even when they hadn’t happened yet.
And the services of Holy Week and Pascha make it clear that time has been turned inside out and upside down. We have morning services in the evening, and evening services in the morning, and a sunrise service in the middle of the night.
And one of the many things that R.J. Hughes wanted to show in the illustrations of Catherine’s Pascha was the way that the universal celebration of Pascha transcends time itself.
My friend Dr. Nicole Roccas blogs about faith at the intersection of time and eternity on her blog, Time Eternal. And she recently welcomed me to write a bit about time and Catherine’s Pascha on her blog. You can read it here.
Why the Paschal Liturgy Is at Night: How can we have an Easter sunrise service at midnight? Find out here.
17 ways to use Catherine’s Pascha: Recipes, crafts, and activities that you and your children can do to extend the joy of Catherine’s Pascha.
Can Children Struggle With Despondency? Dr. Nicole Roccas, author of the book Time and Despondency, shares her thoughts about children and despondency.