Resurrection – the rebirth of life
Posted by: Maria Atalanti
Published on: 02/05/2021Back to Blog
Come and receive light from the eternal light and glorify Christ, the resurrected from the dead.
Wonderful lyrics of Byzantine music that sound these days and move many of us. They are associated with the church, the scent of the candles and frankincense, the smell of spring, the flowers that are blooming in our gardens, and the meaning of that love, that embraces the whole world.
Let us leave the religious and theological interpretation of the days to the experts and let us take a journey through time to see how this celebration and this period of spring has always moved the peoples and made them celebrate and praise God.
Everything starts with spring and spring equinox. If we go back thousands of years when the glaciers froze the earth, all the plants disappeared and people barely survived the cold months of winter, the coming of spring was a magical step in their lives. The plants that appeared through the frozen soil and grew, warmed by the bright spring sun, giving life to nature and food to animals and humans, was a miracle unparalleled for them. All the peoples celebrated this by building temples, by performing feasts and by thanking their God for this rebirth of nature that was implemented on their own existence too.
For the ancient Cypriots, the worship of the resurrection at the time of spring and especially in connection with the spring equinox, was expressed through the death and resurrection of Adonis, who was the son of Kinyras, king of Paphos.
Below is an excerpt from Wikipedia commenting on the relationship of the worship of Adonis with other peoples of that period:
“Origenis states that “the one that the Greeks call Adonis, is called Tammouz by the Jews and the Syrians” and that his lovers celebrated his death every year with mourning and then his resurrection with joyful ceremonies. Similar references are made by the ecclesiastical writers Hieronymus, Cyril and Porphyrios. In the ancient Egyptian pantheon, he is identified with the worship of Osiris, husband of Isis, while in the Hananist with the worship of Baal.”
In the same way, an excerpt is given in connection with the worship of Mithras, a deity of Eastern origin developed among the Mediterranean peoples:
“Mysteries held Mithras responsible for the heavenly movements and the replacement of the astrological Age of Taurus from the astrological Age of Aries, a transition that had taken place about two millennia before Roman times, resulting in symbolic paintings of Mithras killing a bull, representations that hinted at the inner mystical death and rebirth of the initiate in the Mysteries. Thus, Mithraism was original, essentially replacing the deceased and resurrected mysterious deity with an animal symbol, the bull, which was sacrificed mythologically by the redeeming solar deity, Mithras, to obtain from his blood, the “resurrection / rebirth” (of nature but also of the initiate, according to the multi-layered interpretation of the external Mediterranean Mysteries).”
Another god, whose death and resurrection were celebrated by the ancient Greeks, was Dionysus.
“Plutarch says: The Phrygians, too, who believed that God sleeps in winter, while in summer he is awakened, performed Bacchic ceremonies in his honour, in winter appeasement and in summer erections. The Paphlagonians finally believe that in winter God is bound and imprisoned, while in spring he moves and frees himself” (Plutarch, Morals, “About Isis and Osiris”, 378E)”.
“In both the Orphic and the Frivolity mysteries the celebration was supplemented with raw food and wine, where they thus received the “body and blood” of God Dionysus. The symbolism of this celebration was the rebirth of the spiritual man. Then the Orphics, during the summer turn of the sun (summer solstice) celebrated the Resurrection of Dionysus as Dionysus the Freeman.”
Osiris, Adonis, Baal, Dionysus, Mithras, deities born in the Mediterranean Sea, the bed of human civilization, who rose every spring to bring hope and rebirth of the body of the nature and the spirit and of the people. Our ancestors always carried the resurrection as a primordial truth that fed their spirit and pushed them towards the realization of their existence.
The Byzantine hymns with unparalleled musicality describe this event, the resurrection that takes place every spring in the cherished sea of the Mediterranean:
Resurrection day! Peoples, let us be brilliant….
I wish resurrection in your lives, uplift in your souls and joy in your daily life!