Orthodox America

  Christ is Risen!

Paschal Greeting of Bishop Laurus

It is the day of Resurrection, let us be radiant, O people!  The day of the Lord's Holy Pascha is a day of special rejoicing  and festivity. There is no brighter or more joyous feast for Orthodox Christians than the day of Christ's Bright Resurrection.  With what expectation ali look forward to it, with what trembling  all prepare for it, and with what satisfaction and joy all greet  each- other when it comes! At the words "Christ is risen!" we  ourselves seem to resurrect, our souls come to life, our hearts  are exalted. Truly this is the "Feast of feasts and Triumph of Triumphs." The Lord's Pascha reigns over all feasts.

The holy Church celebrates the Resurrection of Christ with an all-embracing fullness and with great spiritual joy and calls to this celebration, to spiritual rejoicing, the whole world, the whole of being, all of life,

She calls out: "This is the day which the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!"

And again: "Let the heavens rejoice in a worthy manner and let the earth be glad, and let the whole world, visible and invisible, keep festival, For Christ our eternal joy is risen!"

"Now all things are filled with light: heaven and earth, and the nether regions. So let all creation then celebrate the Resurrection of Christ, by which it is strengthened."

In the teaching of the Holy Church, the Resurrection of Christ does not touch merely some separate areas of our life, nor merely a limited group of people--but it embraces the whole of life, all creation, all that exists.

But for us sinners to behold the mystery of the Resurrection, for us to feel the joy of Holy Pascha, we must cleanse the senses of our soul which are filthy with our sins and iniquities. There- fore the Holy Church, on the bright day of Holy Pascha, appeals to US, her children, and cries out: "Let us purify our senses, and we shall behold Christ, radiant with the unapproachable light of the Resurrection, and shall hear Him saying clearly, Rejoice! as we sing the hymn of victory!"

And so, "if any be pious and a lover of God,' let him enjoy this banquet of faith; the doors of the spiritual bridal-chamber and of spiritual rejoicing are open to all.

"It is the day of Resurrection, so let us be radiant for the festival, and let us embrace one another. Let us speak, brothers and sisters, also to those who hate us, and in the Resurrection let us forgive everything, and so let us cry: Christ is risen from the dead, trampling on death by death, and on those in the tombs bestowing life ."

Bishop Laurus
Bishop of Syracuse and Holy Trinity Monastery, together with the brethren