ABC network to air PASCHA: THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST

With the western churches calendar date for Easter coming one week earlier than that of the eastern Churches again this year there are opportunities for people to ask questions, some superficial such as why the difference in timing and others much deeper in meaning. This program is all about the “meaning.” Since local affiliates have the option of not showing this program, there is no guarantee that it will run – contact your local ABC affiliate (http://abc.go.com/site/localstations.html) to ask for it to be on the schedule… If needed remind them that previously NBC broadcast the program about Epiphany with good success.

– Haralambos Mavromatidis

GOTelecom, the television ministry of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, will premiere Pascha: The Resurrection of Christ, a program highlighting Orthodox Christian Pascha, or Easter.  The program, produced for ABC television network, and sponsored by FAITH: An Endowment for Orthodoxy and Hellenism, is scheduled to air on ABC affiliates across the country in mid to late April. 

“This is a wonderful opportunity to portray our meaningful Holy Week and Resurrection Services to a nationwide audience,” commented Nicholas J. Furris, Senior Producer and Director of GOTelecom.  “The program, videotaped at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity during Pascha last year, depicts our faith not only as beautiful and sacred, but also very relevant.  GOTelecom is blessed to have the opportunity to provide ABC with this program.”

This one-hour special will highlight Holy and Great Week focusing on the deeply moving and ancient services that recount the Gospel narrative leading to the Death and Resurrection of Christ, including the Burial of Christ and the Resurrection Service. The Service of Holy Friday includes a procession with the embroidered tapestry of Christ in the grave (the Epitaphios). The Resurrection Service on Saturday evening at midnight, the liturgical apex of the Orthodox Church year, is filled with awe-inspiring hymnology and rich visual symbolism. The climax of the Resurrection Service is a procession to the exterior of the Church, where, after proclaiming the Gospel of Resurrection, the faithful, led by Archbishop Demetrios of America, take up the joyous hymn “Christ is Risen!”

“Pascha: The Resurrection of Christ” has been coordinated with ABC by Marissa P. Costidis, Coordinator of the Department of Communications and Managing Director of GOTelecom.  The program was produced and directed by Mr. Furris.  Mrs. Costidis and Mr. Furris have been working with the National Council of Churches in the USA (Communications Commission) and the Interfaith Broadcasting Commission (IBC), through which America’s faith community  provides television programming to the affiliates of the three major broadcast TV networks each year.  Previously, “Epiphany: A Festival of Lights” was broadcast on NBC affiliates nationwide and enjoyed tremendous success.

Each network distributes IBC productions to all of its affiliates by satellite.  Each local station may then choose to present the program in a time slot of its choice over a span of several-weeks.

As the air date approaches local station air dates and times will be made available on the website www.PaschaABC.goarch.org or http://www.interfaithbroadcasting.com/program.aspx?PID=306  

DVD copies of the program will be available for sale in late April 2009 ($25, includes shipping).  To pre-purchase please contact the Department of Communications at 212.774.0244 or email gotel@goarch.org

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