In the Resurrection evening there were few people who did not come to church. Tolerated by the regime, it was a night of freedom. Starting from 10 in the evening, groping its way, the population took over the city. All kinds of people headed for the churches: entire families, groups of friends, young people wanting to party, people going by foot, by cars, taxis. An evening before, on Good Friday, the church processions would begin in the streets. Now, the crowd heading towards the churches was much bigger and visible. If Easter represents the passage from darkness to light, if the priest comes out of a completely dark church with a lighted candle sharing and giving light to everybody, then Bucharest in the ?80 was a very good décor for a festivity. Until midnight, the city was ?as in all nights of the year- a thick, amorphous, silent mass of darkness. Then the darkness became animated, the surroundings of the church were filled with people, whispers and expectancy. Some tried to get a better view. The new comers would push into each other, to the self-possessed discontentment of others. At 12, the churches surrounded by people were flooded by light: the priests and the deacons crammed by the crowd managed to get to the service table in front of the church, everybody took light from the person near them, in the candles protected by plastic glasses, taking care not to stain one?s clothes, to burn the hair or the coat of the neighbor. After the short religious service outside, when the people sang ? Christ has risen from the dead?, this light would flow in the streets of the city. In front of every church and from one church to another, one could hear ? Christ has risen?, ? Indeed he has!? The words were repeated in the streets now full of light and people greeted each other with no restraint, using this Easter greeting. The more religiously committed stayed for the service that started in the church. The others hurried home, holding candles in their hands, to family and friendly reunions. (87)
At Easter, people didn?t take red eggs with them at their workplace. I shelled them for my husband so that the others shouldn?t notice. Those having a lower position knocked eggs in the room of the Party Organization (a meeting room where I think they still had parties)
The communists holding important positions did not go to church. They did not even get married in the church, because they risked being punished. (M. A., 91)
?Christ has risen!? I said on the phone and a comrade answered: ? Precisely, comrade, precisely.?