CD "CHRIST IS RISEN Ancient Hymns of Pascha." 
Total time: 53:29
From Holy Cross Hermitage
CHRIST IS RISEN!
Ancient Hymns of Pascha
From their Hermitage deep in the hills of West Virginia, the monks of Holy Cross Hermitage dedicate this collection to the Feast of Feasts -- the glorious Resurrection of our Lord. The choir adapts Synodal books of the Russian Orthodox Church, chanting these sanctified melodies entirely in English. Includes hymns from Paschal Matins, the Paschal Canon in its entirety, and a few special hymns from the Paschal Divine Liturgy, in Russian, Byzantine and Georgian chant styles. You'll also hear the festive peals of the monastery's bells.
Easter (called Pascha in the Eastern churches) is the most important religious feast in the Christian liturgical year. According to Christian scripture, Jesus rose from the dead on the third day from his crucifixion; this resurrection is celebrated on Easter Sunday. Easter also refers to the season of the church year called Eastertide or the Easter Season, the period of fifty days from Easter Sunday to Pentecost Sunday. The first week of the Easter Season is known as Easter Week or the Octave of Easter (Bright Week or Renewal Week in Eastern usage). Easter also marks the end of Lent, a season of fasting, prayer, and penance.
Easter is a moveable feast, meaning it is not fixed in relation to the civil calendar. The First Council of Nicaea (325) established the date of Easter as the first Sunday after the full moon (the Paschal Full Moon) following the vernal equinox. Ecclesiastically, the equinox is reckoned to be on March 21. The date of Easter in the West therefore varies between March 22 and April 25. Eastern Christianity bases its calculations on the Julian Calendar whose March 21 corresponds, during the 21st century, to April 3 in the Gregorian Calendar, in which calendar the celebration of Easter therefore varies between April 4 and May 8. In most years, the Eastern Pascha falls after the Western Easter, and it may be as much as five weeks later; occasionally, the two dates coincide.
Easter is linked to the Jewish Passover not only for much of its symbolism but also for its position in the calendar and, in most languages, its name. Pascha is a transliteration of a Greek word derived from the Hebrew pesach, both words meaning Passover. The origin of the English term "Easter" comes from the Germanic name for the month in which the Christian feast usually fell, which was named for the pagan goddess Eostre.
Perhaps the earliest extant primary source referencing Easter is a mid-2nd century Paschal homily attributed to Melito of Sardis, which characterizes the celebration as a well-established one. Evidence for another kind of annual Christian festival, the commemoration of martyrs, begins to appear at about the same time. But while martyrs' days were celebrated on fixed dates in the local solar calendar, the date of Easter was fixed by means of the local Jewish lunisolar calendar. This is consistent with the annual celebration of Christ's resurrection having begun during Christianity's earliest, Jewish period.