In his Pascha greeting remarks to the faithful His Grace Bishop Daniel stated: “The Christians claim that nothing can ever be the same again after the first Easter Sunday. The Disciples of Jesus Christ thought they had lost a friend and master and teacher in the cruelest of ways possible. They thought His death was entirely unnecessary and avoidable. Many of them had given up everything to follow this amazing man, and now that He was finally crucified, dead and buried, they felt they had nothing left. The desolation which the death of our Lord brought to their lives is easily felt as you read the end of the Gospel narratives in the Bible. The events of Holy Friday turned their world upside down.
But then on Pascha-Easter Sunday, their world gets turned over yet again in an even more radical way! The Disciples discover that the tomb in which the body of Christ Jesus was buried is empty. And some of the Disciples begin to report that they have seen Jesus alive again! And gradually the truth dawns on them all that the most amazing thing has happened. Jesus Christ has risen from the dead! Now they frantically re-tell to one another all the stories and teaching which they had heard from their Lord and Master. They discover in the teaching of our Savior that He was constantly instructing them about His coming death, and about His resurrection and eternal glory. Before Easter they could not understand it, they were deaf and blind to the meaning of Christ’s teaching. Now, however, those same words come alive with meaning which was hidden to them before. Not only words seemed to have different meanings. Now their lives become transformed by new purpose, new power, new understanding, new ways of living and hoping.
Christians share in the Resurrection message of Jesus Christ. You and I are the 2011 Disciples of Christ. Just like the first Disciples we must live this Pascha event. We ought to be living transformed, upside-down lives full of hope and energy just like those first Disciples. The annual celebration of Pascha serves to remind us of the impact the Resurrection ought to have on our lives. Christ is Risen!”
Following the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, the bishop blessed the newly installed iconography in the sanctuary of the cathedral depicting the Descent into s and Ascension of our Lord, which were commissioned and sponsored by the parish.
Pascha at St. Volodymyr UOC Cathedral in Chicago, IL! - 04/24/11Photos by Subdeacon Vasyl Dovgan