The season of Easter is meant to be a great time of joy. And this joy is naturally shared with others and over the centuries Christians have expressed it in various ways.

For instance, Christians in some parts of the world will greet each other with a “Paschal Greeting.” And it’s much more than a “Happy Easter,” and it relates the joy one has on account of the resurrection of Jesus.

This custom was originally developed within the context of the liturgy and is still maintained by the Eastern Christians today.

This custom occurs during the Resurrection Matins, it is a night-time vigil that starts the celebration of Easter on Holy Saturday.

In accordance with the Metropolitan Cantor Institute, during the signing of the psalms, the faithful come forward to kiss the hand cross held by the priest, who greets each one with, ‘Christ is risen!’; and every of the faithful replies, ‘Indeed he is risen!’.

This phrase is based on a greeting found in the Gospel of Luke, when those who witnessed Jesus on the road to Emmaus went to tell the eleven apostles, (Luke 24:34)“The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!”.

There is also a tradition that says that Mary Magdalene boldly approached Emperor Tiberius in Rome in order to relate to him the resurrection of Jesus. She then, said to him, “Christ is risen!”.

Ever since then, the Paschal Greeting has been adopted not only in the liturgy, but also in the everyday customs of the Eastern Christians who greet their friends and relatives in the whole of the Easter season with a joyous “Christ is risen!”.

So the Paschal Greeting is as thus,
“Christ is risen! And the response is “He is risen, indeed!”
In Latin, Christus resurrexit! Resurrexit vere!

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