Outside of the church closest to where I live in Yekaterinburg they put up the following poster a few days ago: «4 (четвёртого) апреля – светлое Христово Воскресение» [The 4th of April – the Bright Resurrection of Christ]. «Христос воскресе!» [Christ is risen!]. The following quote turned out too small for you to read on the picture so I’ll write it here for you instead: «Да укрепит Всесильный Господь нас в богопознании, во взаимной любви, в делах сострадания и милосердия» [Let the All-mighty Lord strengthen us in our perception of God, in mutual love, in works of compassion and charity]. «Кирилл, Патриарх Московский и Всея Руси» [Kirill, Patriarch over Moscow and all of Rus’]. And right down at the bottom it says: «Возродим Россию вместе!» [We will revive Russia together!]
Today, for the first time in many, many years it is «Пасха» [Easter] on one and the same day for Christians all over the world: «и для католиков, и для протестантов, и для православных» [both for Catholics and for Protestants and for Orthodox (Christians)]. Today we’re celebrating the «воскресение» [1) resurrection; 2) fig. revival] of Christ – He’s called «Христос» in Russian – in the first connotation of this noun: resurrection. In general this noun can be difficult to keep apart from another noun which is pronounced exactly the same but spelled differently: «воскресенье» [Sunday]. Christ’s resurrection – «воскресение Христово» – as we can all see clearly, is spelled with the modern Russian orthographic ending for neuter nouns: «-ие». But the last day of the week (in Russia) is spelled with the ‘older’ orthographic ending for neuter nouns: «-ье», thus replacing the «и» with «ь» [a soft sign]. But there’s really not much of a difference in pronuncing these two different ways of spelling (at least not when I’m pronouncing them, but I could be wrong), so my best advice to you all is to simply either «постараться запомнить» [pfv. to try pfv. to remember], «или продолжать делать ошибки, надеясь на милосердие русских» [or impfv. to continue impfv. making mistakes, impfv. hoping on the Russians’ mercy].
So what exactly was it that Jesus did today «тысячи две лет тому назад» [some 2000 years ago]? In Russia today everyone says to each other: «Христос воскресе!» [Christ is risen!], and answer each other with: «Воистину воскресе!» [In truth (He) is risen!]. But this verb is really spelled (in modern Russian orthography, that is) like this: «воскрес». That’s the male form in the past tense of the perfect verb «воскреснуть» [resurrect; revive; arise, rise]. As you can see, in the past tense for the male form this verb loses its ending completely. If Jesus had been a girl, then this verb would have looked liked «воскресла» [lit. (she has) risen] in the saying above. If Jesus would’ve have been resurrected together with a close friend, or just someone He met accidentally while in Hell, then it would have been necessary to use the plural form which is «воскресли» [lit. (they have) risen]. The perfect verb means that Jesus was resurrected only ONCE, and that He did receive a RESULT (as is how we usually tell when the perfect aspect should be put to use in Russian grammar). Had Jesus not been resurrected once, but TWICE – I know, this is «богохульство» [blasphemy], but since it is «в целях грамматики» [for grammar], I think «Бог простит» [God will forgive], don’t you? – then we would’ve have had to make use of this verb in its imperfect aspect: «воскресать» [to rise from the dead, come back to life; to regain one's strength]. In the past tense this verb looks like this:
«Он воскресал два раза» – [He rose from the dead two times].
«Она воскресала три раза» – [She rose from the dead three times].
«Вместе они воскресали четыре раза – исключая те случаи, когда каждый по отдельности воскресал» – [Together they rose from the dead four times – excluding those times, when each of them rose from the dead on their own].
Okay, I might have crossed the line here. «Прошу прощения!» [I beg for forgiveness!] But how else to combine this kind of useful information on Russian grammar with such a cool verb as pfv. «воскреснуть», without mentioning also its impfv. «воскресать»? Anyway: «со светлим праздником Пасхи всех!»