14 April 2021
An Easter day in the life of… Beginning of Life, Moldova
The next stop on our Easter tour around the world is Moldova, with ministry partner Beginning of Life. The team in Moldova support young people, single mothers who have been abused and neglected and the victims of human trafficking.
With cases of Covid-19 increasing, the country is now in the midst of another lockdown. This means, just like for many of us, Easter looks a little different this year with churches only allowed to hold services outside in very small groups. Today we rewind though, to take a peek into a pre-pandemic Moldovan Easter.
The light of Easter
On Easter night, believers in Moldova go to church, where they participate in a special liturgy, and consecrate Easter treats - coloured eggs, Easter breads, meat dishes, feta cheese and wine etc. The dishes brought to the church on this night are a symbol of rebirth and abundance. It is customary for Moldovans to then take a burning candle from the church up to their house, thus bringing the light of Easter.
Moldovans begin to prepare food for Easter in Holy Week, observing a careful order. First, if people are able to afford them, smoked meats are prepared: ham, pastrami and homemade sausages. On Maundy Thursday, Easter bread and cakes are baked, which are called ‘Kozonak or Kulich’. The day before Easter, the rest of the dishes are prepared - jellied meat, cutlets, baked lamb, roast lamb and various salads. At the Easter table, families eat sanctified dishes, but only after the traditional exclamation “Christ is risen” is uttered, and the answer to it is given - “Indeed He is risen.”
The festive Easter table is distinguished by an abundance of dishes, the presence of coloured eggs and special Easter bread. Painted eggs symbolise the tomb of the Lord, since on the surface the egg seems dead, but inside it contains new life that will come out of it. An integral part of the Easter meal is a special Easter bread called ‘Kozonak’ and the lamb as a reminder of the death and resurrection of Christ.
For those who Beginning of Life serve, Easter brings with it important reminders of the promises they have in Jesus:
Easter is a special day for me and my children. It gives me a feeling of new things coming in life."
"I believe that Jesus loves me and my children so much, despite all of the things and decisions in life. That’s what resurrection is for me.
We give thanks that Beginning of Life are continuing to serve the most vulnerable in their society even with the challenges of Covid. Within the restrictions they are regularly meeting with individuals and groups of three to ensure that no one is left isolated or without support. Pray for God’s protection and guidance as they continue to persevere. Find out more about their ministry here.