TV Special to Feature Orthodox Church's Easter Observance

The National Council of Churches is featuring Pascha, the Orthodox Christian observance of Easter, in a television special airing this weekend.

Produced by Greek Orthodox Telecommunications and sponsored by FAITH: An Endowment for Orthodoxy and Hellenism, "Pascha: The Resurrection of Christ" will showcase the ancient services that recount the biblical narrative of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

According to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America – the largest Orthodox Church in the nation – Pascha is an ancient festival, or the "feast of feasts" as the denomination describes it, and a celebration of the defeat of death.

It's the most significant day in the life of the Church, the denomination states.

"The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the fundamental truth and absolute fact of the Christian faith," according to GOA's website. "It confirms the authenticity of Christ's remarkable earthly life and vindicates the truth of His teaching."

Easter service for Orthodox churches begin Saturday evening. On that night, the priest leads the congregation outside the church where he reads the passage: "He is Risen; He is not here" (Mark 16: 1-8). They then sing the hymn of Resurrection in a joyous tone, declaring: "Christ has risen from the dead."

They gather again on Sunday to sing hymns and pray, the denomination explains on its website.

Such services will be aired on ABC and its affiliates nationwide beginning Saturday until April 19, when Eastern Orthodox Churches celebrate Easter.

Western churches will celebrate Easter on April 12 this year.

On the Web: Television listings