The Donatist celebration of Easter (Pasca) begins with ul Zumu Grandu (Lent) which starts on the Monday 47 days before Easter. Donatist Lent starts with Cunvexu Parvu (Little Confession). All practising Donatists are expected to attend confession on this date and then are anointed with ashes and wear a piece of saccloth tied around their right arm to remind them of the wages of sin.

Two Sundays before Easter is al Dominiga djul Lazaru (Lazarus Sunday)when is remembered the Lord's mercy to Lazarus and his sisters in raising him for the tomb thus giving proof to the faithful that the resurrection is real.

Eight days prior to Easter is al Xabada djal Mezerindu (Anointing Saturday), when Mary of Bethany's act of devotion is remembered. It is a day for making oaths of service to God and making good on oaths outstanding. The last couple of weeks will have been quite busy with making good on promises large and small long neglected.

The Sunday immediately prior to Easter is al Dominiga djals Timoras (Palm Sunday). On this day great procesions wander through the streets to the steps of the churches and cathedrals which are then strewn with palm fronds (timoras) and garments for the poor. The priest is expected to come out from the church and bless the good citizens who have given their garments, the garments given, and the poor who will recieve them.

There is a popular folk tale about a dishonest merchant who disguises himself as a beggar and collects the garments offered to the poor to sell in his shop. All manner of misfortune befalls him until he repents and makes good by replacing the stolen garments with silks and giving a great banquet for the poor. At least that's what happens in some versions of the tale. In others he is attacked by ravens and his eyes are pecked out!

The Monday of Holy Week is il Luni djil Pani (Bread Monday). On this day a special loaf of bread is baked with a coin inside. When the bread is sliced and served at the dinner the person who gets the slice with the coin in their slice plays Judas at the meal to be served on Thursday night.

This person takes the coin and waits outside the door till the coin is collected by the priest from the church who then forgives the person for the role they must play in the drama on Thursday. These coins are taken back to the church, prayed over and then used to purchase the feast to be served on Tuesday.

Typically, today's sermon will focus on Jezu il pani djal vida, Jesus the bread of life.

The Tuesday of Holy Week is ul Huestu djal Lavachu (Feast of Washing) on which the bishop washes the feet of his priests who then wash the feet of the deacons and elders who then wash the feet of the heads of households who then wash the feet of their wives and children. If the king is Donatist he is expected, on this day, to wash the feet of his ministers, the bishop and twelve of the poorest of the city. Similar service is expected of governors, mayors, dukes, bosses, etc. Then the priesthood and government officials serve a lavish banquet for the poor. The banquet being paid for with the coins that were baked in yesterday's bread and collected by the priests.

The Wednesday of Holy Week is il Jovi djil Jugaristi (Communion Wednesday). On this day each family reenacts the Last Supper in their homes. The head of the household reads out the text of the Last Supper from one of the Gospels (In the old days this was often done from memory since not all read.), enacting the role of Jesus with the other family memebers acting out the other roles {Judas having been assigned by the coin in the bread on Monday).

This is the only day of the year when Eucharist is taken in the home and included as part of a meal. Otherwise it is a rite performed in the churches by the clergy and administered to the faithful.

Each family tends to have a certain Gospel which is tradition within that family to read/recite from on this night. Families become so attached to the wording of a particular Gospel account that it can be an issue in marriage negotiations.

The Thursday of Holy Week is il Meuguri djul Tradedu (Betrayal Thursday) also called Meuguri djul Judasu, Meuguri djal Satana or Meugri Obscuri. On this day confession is heard for the last time before Easter. After confession, which all Donatist believers are expected to attend on this day, the children hang "Judas" in effigy outside the churches and beat him until his "guts" (various candies and assorted goodies) spill out on the ground.

This is concidered a very unlucky day to be born. When children are born on this day a priest is usually called to bedside to bless the child and "pray God's grace that he not be like Judas who betrayed his Lord nor like the anti-Christ to come." Mother and father of the child will traditionally fast two days for this child and take no wine till the child's eighth day. They may also fast two days before the child's fist 7 birthdays.

The Friday of Holy Week is al Juma djil Cruchi (Cross Friday). On this day the stations of the cross are reenacted throught the streets of the city.

This is a solemn, but intently observed day. Different cities have varrying traditions for assigning roles in this Passion, but it is everywhere practiced.

Here are the Stations as practiced by the Confession of the Faithful.

  1. Jesus is arrested.
  2. Peter denies Him for the first time.
  3. He is tried by the Jews.
  4. Peter's second and third denials.
  5. He is questioned by Pilate.
  6. He is tried by Herod.
  7. He is returned to Pilate and the crowd chooses Barabas.
  8. He is scourged.
  9. He is crowned with thornes.
  10. Ecce homo -- Christ is condemned to death by Rome.
  11. He takes up the cross.
  12. His first fall.
  13. He meets His Blessed Mother.
  14. Simon of Cyrene is made to bear the cross.
  15. His second fall.
  16. He meets the women of Jerusalem.
  17. His third fall.
  18. He is stripped of His garments.
  19. He is crucified.
  20. The Seven Sayings
  21. 21. His body is taken down from the cross and laid in the tomb.

At Carthage it is tradition for the Donatist bishop, the chief of the Donatist quarter and some other highstanding member of the community to play the High Priest, Herod and Pilate. A simple parish priest is chosen, by lot, to enact Jesus. Simon of Cyrene (Simunu djul Chrinaga) is chosen from the layity, Peter from among the deacons, the Blessed Mother from the deaconesses. The soldiers are drawn from the vidjilandis (the police force) so they may also serve as crowd controll should anyone become overwrought. After the conversion of the Autavija dynasty to the Donatist faith, it became tradition for the king to play Pilate at Carthage, and for king, bishop and mayor of the quarter to lead a public pennance ending with the words "Fistu veu pervia al pacadela nostru, isu veu pervia als pedacelas nostrus," following the drama.

The Saturday of Holy Week is al Xabada djal Silincha (Silent Saturday), on which no word is spoken by the faithful from sunset of Friday till morning mass on Sunday. Even prayers must be done in silence. And the Silent Memorial before the high altar at the cathedral of SS Perpetua and Felicity is something to behold.

Easter Sunday (al Pasca) is counted as the first Sunday following the first day of the feast of Passover (first Sunday following the 14th of Nissan). Sunday morning the faithful rise and dress without a word. Silent people stream through the streets to the steps of the great cathedrals and humble chapels where the faithful gather in complete silence outside the church and wait expectantly and prayerfully for the wife of the priest, if properly ordained as a deaconess, or else head deaconess to emerge at the top of the steps. (Occasionally a laywoman, such as the queen-regnant or queen-consort, will be accorded the honor, but many purists consider it irregular or even profane to do so.) This woman, standing in for Mary Magdalene greets the gatehred with "Esti rezujidu ul Cristu." To which the assembly responds "Iņi! Esti rezujidu ul Cristu nostru." Now the priest appears and says, "Pachi djal Pasca!"; to which the people respond,"Pachi djal Pasca!" Then the priest says, "Esti rezujidu ul Cristu. Ledjemu in fisti dji!" The croud cheers, weeps, and bursts into song while any new converts are baptised and robed in white linen. The assembled faithful then file into the church for a joyous mass which climaxes with the Jugaristi.

The rest of the day is a-verb with "Pachi djal Pasca!" and songs of celebration, and the food! Easter dinner is a great feast. Catholics tend to frown on all the dancing that goes on and the Orthodox look on the Donatist celebrations rather too ebouliant as well.

The Monday following Easter is il Luni djal Via ad ul Emaus on which families travel to visit friends and relatives who do not live near by and share the joy of the miracle. With this the celebration of Easter, strictly speaking, concludes however the festival is not entirely complete until Pentecost Sunday.