Pascha 2009!


To the Reverend Clergy, the Diaconate in Christ, the Venerable Monastics and Faithful Laity of our Church commissioned to our Archpastoral care.

Christ is Risen from the dead, trampling down death by death and to those in the tombs bestowing life.

Christ is Risen!

How much joy and hope we invest in these words! With what inspiration we continuously repeat them during the Paschal Holy Days! And what great meaning they have for each and every one of us! The essence of our Faith and the meaning of our earthly life are concentrated in these words.

The most festive and joyous Feast of all Feasts of the ecclesiastical year is that of the glorious Resurrection of our Lord. As we sing in the ninth irmos of the Paschal Canon at Matins: “This chosen and holy day is the first of the Sabbaths, the queen and lady, the feast of feasts, and the festival of festivals.”

St. Ambrose of Milan writes: “In Christ the world was resurrected along with mankind, in Him the Heavens were resurrected, in Him the earth was resurrected.” And St. Gregory the Theologian writes: “Pascha is the greatest Feast, the most solemn of solemnities!” Thus, in this special manner the Holy Fathers of Christ’s Church underlined the meaning and the greatness of Christ’s Resurrection.

Without Christ’s glorious Resurrection there would be no Christianity, no eternity. Christ was crucified on the Cross, He died as a man and rose from the dead as God Triumphant and this means that He is, indeed, the Son of God, our Savior and Redeemer. We must have faith in Him, we must place our hope in Him and love Him with all our hearts. Through Christ’s Resurrection, we are saved and by the Grace of the Holy Spirit we have the opportunity to be cleansed from our sins, and to become similar to Him in His holiness and mercy. Through Him the Gates to the Heavenly Kingdom are opened for us.

For this reason, on the bright and joyous Day of Christ’s Resurrection our Holy Church calls Heaven and Earth to share in the sacred and divine Joy: “meet it is that the Heavens should rejoice, that the earth should be glad and that the whole world, both visible and invisible, should keep the feast, for Christ our everlasting Joy, has arisen “. (First Ode of the Paschal Canon).

If Christ is Risen then we have hope for eternal life! St. Paul says: “He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up through Jesus”…to eternal life (2 Cor.4:14). Mankind’s belief in Christ’s Resurrection was always tied to a belief in the immortality of the soul. This faith reminds us Christians about the triumph of goodness, of eternity, that Christ is alive and with us always. This faith was confirmed in Christ’s Apostles following His Resurrection and was reinforced and strengthened by His appearance to them in Jerusalem, in Bethany, on the road to Emmaus and on the Mount of Olives.

By His Resurrection, Christ strengthens our faith in our own future resurrection. In Christ our Savior there was Golgotha, but it was followed by the Resurrection. Every human being experiences his or her own Golgotha and a life’s cross.  As long as we live, however, in accordance with God’s Commandments and strive to be like Christ in bearing our afflictions, there will be a resurrection and eternal life in the realm of the Heavenly Kingdom.

In these Holy Paschal days we heartily greet you, our Orthodox brothers and sisters in Diaspora and scattered throughout the whole world. We wholeheartedly greet our beloved faithful who reside in Ukraine. May the Risen Lord unite us all in His love, fill our souls with spiritual joy, and infuse our hearts with peace and harmony.

Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen!
Metropolitan of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA and the Diaspora
Metropolitan of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada
Archbishop of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA
Archbishop of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the Diaspora
Archbishop of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada
Archbishop of the South American Eparchy of the UOC
Bishop of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada
Bishop of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada
Bishop of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA

For Ukrainian Version, click here

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