My beloved brothers and sisters in Our Risen Lord, God andSavior Jesus Christ.
CHRIST IS RISEN! TRULY HE IS RISEN!
The Great Event, the Glorious Resurrection of Christ, is celebrated by the Holy Orthodox Church as the greatest of all feast days. It is the Feast of Feasts and Celebration of Celebrations. This Great Feast is called PASCHA (Greek for "Passover"), that is, THE DAY ON WHICH IS ACCOMPLISHED OUT PASSAGE (PASSOVER) FROM DEATH TO LIFE AND FROM EARTH TO HEAVEN. The celebration of the Resurrection of Christ continues for a whole week (‘Bright Week’), and divine services held in the Church are celebrated more festively than on all other days. On the first day of the Feast Orthros (Matins) begins at midnight. Before the beginning of Matins, the celebrants, vested in brilliant vestments, together with the faithful, accompanied by the ringing of bells, carrying burning candles, the Cross, and holy icons, proceed around the church, emulating the myrrh-bearing women who proceeded to the tomb of the Savior in the early morning. During the procession, everyone chants, "Thy Resurrection, O Christ Savior, the Angels hymn in the heavens; vouchsafe also us on earth with pure hearts to glorify Thee." The first exclamation of Orthros (Matins) is made before the closed doors of the church while the festal hymn "Christ IS RISEN,.." IS REPEATED MANY TIMES, and then while singing the hymn they enter the church. The services continue all night with open Royal Doors, signifying that now, by the Resurrection of Christ, the gates of the Kingdom of Heaven are opened for all. On every day of this Great Feast, WE GREET ONE ANOTHER WITH THE BROTHERLY KISS AND THE WORDS, "CHRIST IS RISEN!" AN ANSWER WITH THE WORDS, "TRULY HE IS RISEN!" We greet each other in this way and exchange red-colored eggs, which symbolize the new, blessed life revealed from the tomb of the Savior. Bells ring all week. From the first day of Holy Pascha until vespers of the Feast of the Holy Trinity, ONE IS NOT PERMITTED TO KNEEL IN CHURCH OR MAKE PROSTRATIONS.
On the first Tuesday after Bright Week, the Holy Church, extending gladness of the Resurrection of Christ to those who died in the hope of the General Resurrection, especially commemorates the dead, and therefore this day is called "Paschal Soul Day." On this day the Divine Liturgy is celebrated with commemoration of the dead. On this day it is customary TO VISIT THE GRAVES OF ONE’S CLOSE RELATIVES. This tradition differs in some aspects among local churches.
Besides this, the Day of the Resurrection of Christ is celebrated by us ON EVERY SUNDAY OF THE YEAR.
FOR THE FEAST OF PASCHA
Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by
death, and on those in the tombs bestowing life.
KONTAKION HYMN FOR THE FEAST OF PASCHA
Though Thou didst descend into the grave, O Immortal One,
yet didst Thou destroy the power of Hades. And didst rise as
Victor, O Christ Our God, calling to the myrrh-bearing women:
Rejoice! And giving peace unto Thine Apostles, Thou Who
dost grant resurrection to the fallen.
[ Source: The Law of God]
"Glory Be To GOD
– Saint John Chrysostomos
+ + +
With sincere agape in Our Risen Lord,
The sinner and unworthy servant of God
CHRIST IS RISEN! TRULY HE IS RISEN! ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ! ΑΛΗΘΩΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ!
+ Father George