Easter is a busy time for Alex Kalloniatis, who has been singing himself hoarse this weekend.
The public servant is first cantor at the Greek Orthodox Church of Saint Nicholas in Kingston, where he has been leading the congregation in song at services, some which last several hours, over the Easter period.
Orthodox Easter this year falls on the same date as the Western Christian festival which is a rare occurrence as they follow different calendars. Mr Kalloniatis said at the Good Friday services a large wooden structure covered with flowers representing a tomb was put on display at the front of the church.
But at the service welcoming Easter Sunday, members of Canberra's Greek community pack the church and spill into the front courtyard.
In the darkness approaching midnight, parish priest Father Petros Kipouros will light a large candle, prompting a rush to the altar by members of the congregation to light their candles from the one flame - traditionally believed to be good luck.
The remaining parishioners will light their own candles, passing on the flame from one person to another, until the church is filled with candlelight.
It is also considered lucky if the candle can carried home while still alight. Mr Kalloniatis said the priest and cantors would then move to the front of the church to sing Christ is Risen.
''After Easter we start the clock afresh on the church calendar … it's like life begins on Easter Sunday,'' he said.
The Easter church services are also a social occasion for the community, he said. ''There are many of us who look forward to that social focus becoming a spiritual focus for more and more people and I sense that that is happening,'' Mr Kalloniatis said. ''But we find it encouraging that even now where we have the third and fourth generation of Greek Australians, they still make the time to come to Good Friday and Easter.''