Paschal Message of His Grace Bishop IRÉNÉE

May 2, 2013

“Now all things are filled with light, both heaven and earth and the nethermost regions of the earth.”
(Canon of Pascha)

Dearly beloved Fathers, Brothers and Sisters in the Lord,


These past weeks have seen us all undertake a forty-day spiritual journey. This journey has brought us to an empty tomb—an empty tomb from which emanates the Light of our Risen Lord. That “Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death…” opens for us the gates to God's heavenly Kingdom.

On this joyous Day of the Resurrection, the divine Light of the victory over death enlightens the entire world. The Triumphant Church is glorifying the Risen Lord and we—the earthly Church - are called to join them in their worship.

Again, I proclaim to you, “Christ is risen!” And by His glorious Resurrection, “the heavy winter of death has passed away! The icy tyranny of the devil and his domination has been overcome. The frightful reign of darkness and perdition has been undone. ‘The Lord is King, He has girded Himself with majesty!’ [Psalm 92:1]” (Patriarch Bartholomew II)

That is why no other greeting than these victorious words: “Christ is Risen!” can bring such radiant joy to a believer’s heart. They remind us of the fact that death has been conquered, that the graves of this world are only temporary. This Paschal greeting also tells us that in our earthly life, any victory of falsehood and evil is only temporary and that in eternal life goodness, truth and love will prevail forever. Holy Pascha is for us the Feast of Feasts. Pascha makes it possible for us to know that God loves us and that, in our response to God's love, we are clothed with power. The same power that carried our Saviour through the Crucifixion and to the Resurrection is now available to us. God is calling us to life.

Saint John Chrysostom says: “O death, where is your sting? O hell, where is your victory? Christ is risen, and you are cast down! Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen! Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice! Christ is risen, and life is set free! Christ is risen, and the tomb is emptied of its dead. For Christ, having risen from the dead, is become the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep. To Christ be glory and power forever and ever. Amen!”