In case you didn’t know. Actress/Musician/Producer Rita Wilson is a proud Greek-American and married to Tom Hanks.
Hanks joined the Greek Orthodox Church when he married his wife Rita Wilson in 1988 and has since been an avid member. The very successful and grounded couple have 4 children and attend the beautiful St. Sophia’s Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Los Angeles. Tom and his family are well-known for attending all the Orthodox Holy Week services.
Tom Hanks has been reported to appear on posters promoting Orthodox Christianity in Russia and neighboring states alongside prominent local cultural and sports figures. The Russian Orthodox youth movement Soboryane said it would launch a massive poster campaign during a missionary event entitled “My Pravoslavnye” (“We Are Orthodox Christians”) back in October 13 and 14, 2012 in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine.
A Russian poster featuring Hanks has a quote taken from an interview he gave to Russian newspaper Argumenty I Fakty back in 2009.
“I realize how important and beautiful it is to have the opportunity to go to church and reflect on important questions that Orthodox Christianity asks you and answers it offers” it reads translated in English.
Rita Wilson has spoken about her Greek roots and Orthodox faith candidly in various interviews. Rita has also written a few great articles on Greek Orthodox Easter:
“Here are some of the things that non-Greeks may not know about Greek Easter:
We don’t do bunnies. We don’t do chocolate. We don’t do pastels. We do do lamb, sweet cookies, and deep red. The lamb is roasted and not chocolate, the sweet cookies are called Koulourakia and are twisted like a braid, and our Easter eggs are dyed one color only: blood red.”
There is no Easter Egg hunt. There is a game in which you crack your red egg against someone else’s red egg hoping to have the strongest egg, which would indicate you getting a lot of good luck.
Holy Week, for a Greek Orthodox, means you clear your calendar, you don’t make plans for that week at all because you will be in church every day, and you fast. Last year, in addition to not eating red meat and dairy before communion, my family also gave up sodas for the 40-day Lenten period…
No matter where I find my self in the world I never miss Easter, or as we call it, Pascha. I have celebrated in Paris, London, New York City, Los Angeles, and in Salinas, California at a small humble church that was pure and simple…” – Rita Wilson on Greek Easter.