Orthodox church readies for "Pascha''

May 3—SHARON — Most western religions use the term Easter for celebrating the holiday, but eastern churches like St. John's Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Sharon use the words "Passover" or "Pascha."

"But for all of us it's the celebration of Jesus' resurrection," Father Steve Repa, St. John's pastor said.

Some Orthodox faiths will be celebrating Easter this Sunday. The date differs from western churches as some Orthodox religions use the Julian rather than the Gregorian calendar used by western churches.

Passover hails from the Exodus story about how the angel of death passed over Israelites' home in Egypt. It's also seen as the new Passover through the resurrection of Jesus.

And that can be found in the brutal war Ukraine is facing with Russia, Repa said.

"Ukraine will resurrect not on her own, but through the resurrection of Christ as a Christian nation," he said.

That also was on the mind of Sharon Horodyski after Thursday's services at the church where she has been a member since 1974.

"It's sad to see what's going on over there," Horodyski.

Repa was born in Chicago but his parents were originally from Ukraine. He blames the war on Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"Ukraine bombs industrial and weapons complexes," Repa said. "Putin bombs everything and everybody."

The church offers hope, he said.

"Christ for us isn't a state of being, it's a state of becoming," Repa said. "It's a lifelong process."

There are symbols and practices in the Orthodox church and its services. Incense is used to represent prayers rising to the heavens and purifying space.

In the altar room the walls forma circular pattern.

"That represents infinity," Repa said. "God has no end."