After visiting a few Orthodox parishes, the religion department of the French-speaking section of Swiss National Radio (Radio Télévision Suisse, RTS) chose to broadcast the Paschal Night live from the Parish Saint-Maire, in Lausanne (under the Serbian Orthodox Church). This is currently the only (small) canonical Orthodox parish in Switzerland using the Orthodox Western rite, along with the Byzantine rite. More specifically, the parish uses the Gallican rite, as restored in the 20th century within the Orthodox Church of France (ECOF).

The broadcast is currently available online – in French. Since it may not remain available on a permanent basis, those interested in preserving it as sound archive are advised to copy it . Here is the link:
Click on Ecouter (listen), and a pop-up window will appear. (If you click on the picture, you will be able to see a few photographs of the small church and its rector.)

Before the Paschal celebration, there is a 70 minute long discussion led by journalist Fabien Hünenberger with:
– Father Pierre-François Méan, who is the rector of the parish (and a retired medical doctor);
– Matthieu Malinine, an expert in Orthodox liturgical music, who used to be during a few years choir director of the ROCOR cathedral in Geneva, and has helped recently in training the choir of parish Saint-Maire; he also teaches at the Institut de Théologie Orthodox Saint-Serge (Paris) and at the Conservatoire Russe de Paris Serge Rachmaninoff;
– Jean-François Mayer, Orthodox layman (ROCOR); an historian and researcher on contemporary religion (see his webpage and his biography in English), he is the co-editor of the forthcoming book Orthodox Identities in Western Europe (scheduled for publication in August 2014).

The discussion places a special emphasis on the musical contribution of Maxime Kovalevksy (1903-1988). It includes several musical illustrations.

The celebration follows the discussion and is divided into three parts:
– Paschal Fire, Blessing of the Candle, Exultet (Western liturgical tradition);
– Matins (three Nocturns, including the reading of St. John Chrysostom’s Homily, since it incorporates several enrichments borrowed from the Byzantine tradition);
– Liturgy.

Journalist Fabien Hünenberger and Jean-François Mayer comment the celebration: but they have let mostly the liturgical texts speak for themselves, with comments provided at appropriate times. Upon request of the rector, the Eucharistic Canon was not broadcast, and comments were inserted during that period. Otherwise, this is an opportunity to listen to a full Paschal Night celebration in the Gallican rite in French language.