If you were in Greece for Easter and saw someone as you were out for a walk or on your way to church, you wouldn’t be greeted with ‘good morning’ or even ‘happy Easter.’ Instead, you would be greeted with, ‘Christos anesti!’ – ‘Christ is risen!’ and you’d respond, ‘Alithenos anesti!’ – ‘He is risen, indeed!’
In our little church, one of our annual traditions is to say it three times, led by our celebrant. He’ll start softly: “Christ is risen.” We respond softly for the first antiphon, then louder on the second time. Finally on the third time, we are in full voice, just shy of a shout when we respond, “He is risen, indeed!”
One of the gifts of our faith (and some others as well) is the practice of following the circles and cycles of the liturgical year, season in and season out. I’ve noticed my response varies, depending what’s going on in the seasons of my own life.