Author Topic: 2008 Paschal Encyclicals (in many languages)  (Read 1545 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Fr. George

  • formerly "Cleveland"
  • Administrator
  • Stratopedarches
  • *******
  • Posts: 21,259
  • May the Lord bless you and keep you always!
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Pittsburgh
2008 Paschal Encyclicals (in many languages)
« on: April 28, 2008, 11:49:29 AM »
I guess I'll start, and with the Ecumenical Patriarch's address (they haven't translated it yet into English):

Ἀριθμ. Πρωτ. 477


+ Β Α Ρ Θ Ο Λ Ο Μ Α Ι Ο Σ

ΕΛΕῼ ΘΕΟΥ
ΑΡΧΙΕΠΙΣΚΟΠΟΣ ΚΩΝΣΤΑΝΤΙΝΟΥΠΟΛΕΩΣ - ΝΕΑΣ ΡΩΜΗΣ
ΚΑΙ ΟΙΚΟΥΜΕΝΙΚΟΣ ΠΑΤΡΙΑΡΧΗΣ
ΠΑΝΤΙ Τῼ ΠΛΗΡΩΜΑΤΙ ΤΗΣ ΕΚΚΛΗΣΙΑΣ
ΧΑΡΙΝ, ΕΙΡΗΝΗΝ ΚΑΙ ΕΛΕΟΣ
ΠΑΡΑ ΤΟΥ ΕΝΔΟΞΩΣ ΑΝΑΣΤΑΝΤΟΣ ΣΩΤΗΡΟΣ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΥ
* * *


Ἀδελφοὶ καὶ τέκνα ἐν Κυρίῳ ἀγαπητὰ καὶ περιπόθητα,

«Ἰδού, ὁ χειμὼν παρῆλθεν»!,  «ἀνέτειλε τὸ ἔαρ» τῆς σωτηρίας, «τὰ ἄνθη ὤφθη ἐν τῇ γῇ, φωνὴ τῆς τρυγόνος ἠκούσθη, ... αἱ ἄμπελοι κυπρίζουσιν, ἔδωκαν ὀσμήν».  Πάσχα ἱερόν, ἅγιον, μέγα ἀνέτειλε καὶ θάλπει, φωτίζει καὶ λαμπρύνει τὸν κόσμον. «Νῦν πάντα πεπλήρωται φωτός, οὐρανός τε καὶ γῆ καὶ τὰ καταχθόνια»:

ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ !

Ὁ Θεός, ὁ Ἀπαθής, ὁ Ἀθάνατος, ὁ ὡραῖος Νυμφίος τῆς Ἐκκλησίας, ὁ Κύριος ἡμῶν καὶ Πρωτότοκος Ἀδελφὸς καὶ Φίλος Ἰησοῦς Χριστός, «ἀνέστη ἐκ νεκρῶν, θανάτῳ θάνατον πατήσας», τὴν τρίτην ἡμέραν ἀφ’ οὗ ἀπὸ τοῦ ὕψους τοῦ Σταυροῦ ἐξεφώνησε τὸ «Τετέλεσται!».  Ὁ «ᾅδης κάτωθεν ἐπικράνθη συναντήσας»  Αὐτόν, διότι ὄχι μόνον κατήργησε τὸ κράτος του καὶ ἐκένωσε θεοπρεπῶς τὰ σκοτεινὰ ταμεῖα του, χαρίζων ζωὴν εἰς τοὺς τότε εὑρισκομένους εἰς τὰ μνήματα, ἀλλὰ καὶ διότι χαρίζει ζωὴν ἀτέρμονα καὶ βεβαίαν ἀνάστασιν εἰς ὅλους ὅσοι μετὰ ταῦτα, μέχρι καὶ τῆς συντελείας τοῦ αἰῶνος, θὰ πιστεύσουν εἰς Αὐτόν, θὰ ζήσουν ἐν Αὐτῷ καὶ θὰ κρατήσουν μέχρι τέλους τὴν εἰς Αὐτὸν ὁμολογίαν καὶ πίστιν. Ὁ Χριστός, «δικαιοσύνῃ ἐζωσμένος τὴν ὀσφὺν Αὐτοῦ καὶ ἀληθείᾳ εἰλημένος τὰς πλευράς»,  ἠγέρθη ἐκ τοῦ Τάφου, «παγγενῆ τὸν Ἀδὰμ ἀναστήσας ὡς φιλάνθρωπος».

Ἰδού, λοιπόν, ἀδελφοὶ ἀγαπητοὶ καὶ τέκνα περιπόθητα, τὸ κεφάλαιον τῆς μεγάλης ἑορτῆς ἡμῶν καὶ τὸ κλῖμα τῆς ἀνοίξεως, τὴν ὁποίαν ἐν ἔαρι καιροῦ εὐαγγελίζεται ἡ Ἐκκλησία εἰς τὴν Οἰκουμένην. Ὁ βαρὺς χειμὼν τοῦ θανάτου ἀποτελεῖ παρελθόν! Ἡ παγερὰ τυραννία τοῦ διαβόλου ἐνικήθη κατὰ κράτος. Τὸ φοβερὸν βασίλειον τοῦ σκότους καὶ τῆς ἀπωλείας διελύθη. «Ὁ Κύριος ἐβασίλευσεν, εὐπρέπειαν ἐνεδύσατο»!  Εἴδομεν τὸν Ἰησοῦν ἐθελουσίως, ἐξ ἄκρας ἀγάπης, πάσχοντα ἐπὶ Σταυροῦ καὶ θνήσκοντα καὶ θαπτόμενον δι᾿ ἡμᾶς καὶ διὰ τὴν σωτηρίαν ἡμῶν. Τὸν προσεκυνήσαμεν ἤδη Ἀναστάντα ἐκ νεκρῶν καί, μαζὶ μὲ τοὺς Ἀποστόλους καὶ τὰς Μυροφόρους, ἠκούσαμεν ἀπὸ τὸ ἅγιον στόμα Του τὸ «Εἰρήνη ὑμῖν!»  καὶ τὸ «Χαίρετε!»,  καὶ ἐχάρη ἡ καρδία μας. Καὶ «τὴν χαρὰν ἡμῶν οὐδεὶς αἴρει ἀφ᾿ ἡμῶν»,  διότι πλέον καὶ ὁ ἰδικός μας, ὁ προσωπικὸς ἑνὸς ἑκάστου, θάνατος, δυνάμει ἔχει καταργηθῆ. Ἀφ’ οὗ καὶ ἐφ᾿ ὅσον καὶ ἡμεῖς ἐσταυρώσαμεν τὸ ἐν ἡμῖν σαρκικὸν φρόνημα τοῦ παλαιοῦ ἀνθρώπου «σὺν τοῖς παθήμασι καὶ ταῖς ἐπιθυμίαις»,  καὶ «ἀπεθάνομεν σὺν Χριστῷ, πιστεύομεν ὅτι καὶ [θὰ] συζήσωμεν»  μαζί Του. Ἀφ᾿ οὗ «συνετάφημεν» μετὰ τοῦ Χριστοῦ «διὰ τοῦ βαπτίσματος»,  θὰ γίνωμεν «σύμφυτοι», δηλ. μέτοχοι, καὶ τῆς Ἀναστάσεώς Του.  Τὴν ἀλήθειαν αὐτὴν διασαλπίζει ρητορικώτατα ὁ Θεολόγος Γρηγόριος, λέγων: «Χθὲς συνεσταυρούμην Χριστῷ, σήμερον συνδοξάζομαι. Χθὲς συνενεκρούμην, συζωοποιοῦμαι σήμερον. Χθὲς συνεθαπτόμην, σήμερον συνεγείρομαι».  Τὸ αἰώνιον πρόβλημά μας, κατὰ ταῦτα, τὸ ἔλυσεν ἅπαξ διὰ παντὸς ὁ Ἀναστὰς Κύριος. Ἡ ἀγωνία μας ἔλαβε τέλος. «Ἀνέστη Χριστός, καὶ ζωὴ πολιτεύεται»!  Εἰς τὸ ἑξῆς, ἡ Ζωὴ καὶ ἡ Ἀνάστασις ἡμῶν δὲν εἶναι ζητούμενον, δὲν εἶναι ὄνειρον, δὲν εἶναι οὐτοπία, ἀλλ’ εἶναι ἁπτὴ καὶ ψηλαφητὴ πραγματικότης. Πραγματικότης, ἡ ὁποία ἔχει συγκεκριμένον πρόσωπον καὶ ὄνομα: «τὸ ὑπὲρ πᾶν ὄνομα» Ἰησοῦς Χριστός, ἐνώπιον τοῦ Ὁποίου «πᾶν γόνυ κάμψει ἐπουρανίων καὶ ἐπιγείων καὶ καταχθονίων»  καὶ κάθε γλῶσσα θὰ ὁμολογήσῃ ὅτι Αὐτὸς εἶναι ὁ μόνος Ζωοδότης καὶ Κύριος, ὅστις ζῇ καὶ βασιλεύει εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας, μοιραζόμενος ἐθελαγάθως τὴν Βασιλείαν Του, τὴν δόξαν Του καὶ τὴν κληρονομίαν τοῦ Πατρός Του, μὲ ὅλους τοὺς κοινωνοὺς τοῦ Σταυροῦ, τοῦ θανάτου καὶ τῆς Ἀναστάσεώς Του, ὡς «πρωτότοκος ἐν πολλοῖς ἀδελφοῖς».

Αὐτοῦ δεόμεθα ἐκτενῶς, ἀπὸ τῆς μαρτυρικῆς ἡμῶν Πατριαρχικῆς καὶ Οἰκουμενικῆς καθέδρας, ὅπως χαρίζῃ εἰρήνην εἰς τὸν κόσμον, φωτισμὸν ἀληθείας καὶ δικαιοσύνης εἰς τὰς ψυχὰς τῶν ἀνθρώπων, ὑπομονὴν καὶ στηριγμὸν εἰς κάθε δοκιμαζόμενον, γεῦσιν σωτηρίας καὶ ζωῆς αἰωνίου εἰς πάντας τοὺς πιστούς.

Αὐτῷ, τῷ Νικητῇ τοῦ θανάτου καὶ ἀρχηγῷ τῆς ζωῆς, ἡ δόξα, τὸ κράτος, ἡ τιμὴ καὶ ἡ προσκύνησις, σὺν τῷ Πατρὶ καὶ τῷ Ἁγίῳ Πνεύματι, εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας. Ἀμήν.

Ἅγιον Πάσχα 2008
+ Ὁ Κωνσταντινουπόλεως Βαρθολομαῖος
διάπυρος πρός Χριστόν Ἀναστάντα εὐχέτης πάντων ὑμῶν
How in Mor's good name
one hundred fifty four posts
No Rachel Weisz pic

Selam

Offline Fr. George

  • formerly "Cleveland"
  • Administrator
  • Stratopedarches
  • *******
  • Posts: 21,259
  • May the Lord bless you and keep you always!
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Pittsburgh
Re: 2008 Paschal Encyclicals (in many languages)
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2008, 11:53:43 AM »
Archbishop Demetrios of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese

Protocol 35/08

April 27, 2008

Holy Pascha
The Feast of Feasts

For since death came through a human being, The resurrection of the dead has also come through a human being; For as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ. (I Corinthians 15:21-22)


To the Most Reverend Hierarchs, the Reverend Priests and Deacons, the Monks and Nuns, the Presidents and Members of the Parish Councils of the Greek Orthodox Communities, the Distinguished Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Day, Afternoon, and Church Schools, the Philoptochos Sisterhoods, the Youth, the Hellenic Organizations, and the entire Greek Orthodox Family in America

Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Christ is Risen!

It is with love, joy, and gratitude to God that we greet one another in these days. With the triumphant hymn, “Christ is Risen from the dead, trampling death by death, and to those in the tombs bestowing life” (Troparion of the Feast of Pascha), we declare the definitive victory over sin and death. As Orthodox Christians, we celebrate the Feast of Pascha each year with the belief and the knowledge that the Resurrection of Jesus Christ remains the most important event that has ever taken place in human history. Appropriately, our Orthodox Church refers to this event as the “Feast of Feasts.”

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ presents us with an awesome and wondrous demonstration of the great power and eternal love of God for humankind. It is simultaneously an historic event that unfolded once in a specific time and location, yet its ramifications exceed the boundaries of time and continue to hold far-reaching, indeed cosmic levels of significance. By His death on the Cross for our salvation, His descent into Hades, and His resurrection, Jesus Christ has freed all of humanity from the bonds of sin and death, providing us all with a foretaste of eternal life in Him.

In his First Epistle to the Corinthians, Saint Paul, having detected some wrong ideas about the resurrection among the Corinthians, wrote specifically to underscore the centrality of the resurrection of Christ to the Christian faith. Saint Paul observed that some in the community of Corinth who were calling themselves Christians did not believe in the resurrection of the dead. He told them that if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ too did not rise from the dead. Then, he reminded them in a strong use of language that "if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain…if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins" (I Corinthians 15:14-17).

In many ways, our contemporary society resembles the society in which the Corinthians lived. It offers a wide array of religious teachings, theories, and alternative understandings to the question of life after death. Because God has given to the people the freedom of conscience, we do not cast judgment on the teachings of other religions nor upon those people who hold them. We do insist, however, that on this day of Holy Pascha we are invited to come to a closer understanding of the centrality of the resurrection of Jesus Christ to the Christian faith and its fundamental meaning for our lives as Orthodox Christians.

My beloved faithful,

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is a miraculous event of the triumph of love, and it stands at the very center of our faith. It is at once an unrepeatable event and a constant reality that assures us of the victory of Jesus Christ over death, and of life with Him in His Heavenly Kingdom.

Christ is Risen! Truly the Lord is Risen! It is my fervent prayer that throughout this Paschal period the joy and eternal peace of the Risen Christ may abide with all of you in your hearts and homes, and that our joyous celebration of His resurrection may always reinforce within us the assurance that we will be made alive in Him forever.

With my warmest Paschal wishes
And love in the Risen Christ,


+DEMETRIOS
Archbishop of America
How in Mor's good name
one hundred fifty four posts
No Rachel Weisz pic

Selam

Offline Entscheidungsproblem

  • Formerly Friul & Nebelpfade
  • Protokentarchos
  • *********
  • Posts: 4,492
    • Amsterdam Declaration 2002
Re: 2008 Paschal Encyclicals (in many languages)
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2008, 12:00:36 PM »
The Paschal Epistle of Archbishop Hilarion of Sydney, Australia and New Zealand, Deputy of the President of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia

Most Reverend brother-archpastors, all-honorable fathers, beloved-in-the-Lord brothers, sisters and children,

CHRIST IS RISEN!

With the overwhelming feeling of Paschal jubilation I greet all of you with the great and salvific feast of the Lord’s Pascha, which instills in us the firm conviction of our immortality and hope of future blessed resurrection!

In exchanging the Paschal kiss with you today, I prayerfully desire that the joy of the Risen Christ strengthen all of us, since we have been orphaned following the untimely repose of His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus, who in the morning of the Triumph of Orthodoxy pronounced in spirit together with the Apostle Paul: “My desire is to part and be with Christ” (Philippians 1:23). As written in the Holy Scriptures, death for a person is repose. Though we weep over the parting, our sorrow is now filled with faith, hope and the Paschal reality; we know that death is a temporary slumber, a slumber for the body which will arise on the last day of history, and a time of rejoicing for the liberated righteous soul.

Since we have the firm conviction that after this brief life comes another, eternal life, where God will bless us with heavenly joy and will comfort those who have patiently borne temporal sorrows and sufferings, no manner of death or misfortune which comes our way can be too burdensome. Death itself is not fearful to a person who has complete hope in blessed resurrection: death for him is the path to the longed-for union with Christ. Amidst the fiery temptations which assail an Orthodox Christian, the Christian rejoices in suffering with Christ, being steadfastly assured that in the appearance of Christ in His glory, he will rejoice and be triumphant. Remembrance of the future life and hope of blessed resurrection serve as strong incentives and sure means towards moral perfection and spiritual achievement. If we remember well that our homeland is in heaven, while here we are only temporary guests, we will cease living only for our bodily pleasure. We will cease observing the commandments only outwardly, being honest, truthful, or benevolent solely out of temporal calculations, but will fulfill our duty of serving God and neighbor unselfishly and without seeking recompense.

One of the ancient teachers of monasticism, Abba Evagrius, offers us the following admonition: “The Passover [Pascha] of the Lord is the passing from evil to good. Let us also bring Him some God-pleasing gift.” This gift can take the form of active love, active works of charity and self-sacrifice, when we dedicate our life to Christ, His Church and our neighbor, and gaining inspiration, maintaining constant zeal for the struggle to do good. In perfecting ourselves in virtue, we will be able to preserve in our hearts faithfulness to God, the Church and those around us, as well as dedication to the blessed memory of His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus, who gave us an example of love, humility and goodness.

Therefore, beloved-in-the-Lord fellow archpastors, reverend fathers, brothers, sisters and children, let us establish ourselves firmly on the radiant path of virtue, remembering the words of the Apostle Peter: “blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By His great mercy we have been born anew to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and to an inheritance which is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you (1 Peter 1:3-4). Let us turn our minds and hearts to the heavenly Jerusalem, our heavenly homeland—and the thought of our high calling will enlighten the dark paths of our life, grant us consolation and peace amid the sorrows of this world and bring us joy and delight.

Once again I congratulate all of you with this “Feast of feasts,” and sincerely desire that the flock of the Russian Church Abroad, as well as our brothers and sisters in Russia and in all the world, enjoy these most wondrous days in good health and well-being, guarded by the victorious power of the Life, Righteousness, Holiness, Goodness and Divine Beauty radiating from the Life-giving Tomb of the Lord, the Enlightener of our souls!

With Paschal joy in the Risen Christ and the request for your holy prayers,

+Hilarion
Archbishop of Sydney, Australia and New Zealand
Christ’s Pascha 2008
As a result of a thousand million years of evolution, the universe is becoming conscious of itself, able to understand something of its past history and its possible future.
-- Sir Julian Sorell Huxley FRS

Offline PeterTheAleut

  • The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
  • Hypatos
  • *****************
  • Posts: 37,280
  • Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Re: 2008 Paschal Encyclicals (in many languages)
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2008, 04:06:16 PM »
Archpastoral Message of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Herman (Orthodox Church in America) for Pascha

Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen!

To the Very Reverend and Reverend Clergy, Monastics, and Faithful of The Orthodox Church in America

Dearly Beloved in the Lord,

The Gospel of St. John tells of St. Mary Magdalene's encounter with the Risen Christ at the empty tomb. St. Mary weeps, believing that someone has taken the Lord's Body away. Christ approaches her and asks her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom do you seek?" Not recognizing the Lord at first, she asks Him if He knows where the body of her Master has been taken. Jesus replies, "Mary!" and immediately she recognizes Him.

In this passage we witness a profound encounter between the Lord and His servant. Simply by saying her name, Christ transforms St. Mary Magdalene's lamentation into joy. What a difference even one word, spoken at a critical moment, can make in one's life.

Writing on this passage, St. Ambrose of Milan offers an important insight into the nature of faith. He states that by asking St. Mary, "Whom do you seek?" the Lord was in effect saying: "You are the cause of your own weeping; you are the author of your own lamentation, because you are disbelieving of Christ. Believe and you will see Him."

Looking at the world from the perspective of belief makes a profound difference in what we see. The homeless person that we pass on the street, through eyes of faith, is recognized as a living icon of the living God. The crying child in our arms, through eyes of faith, is embraced as a sacred trust that God has given us to raise according to His Way. The struggles and toils of daily life, through eyes of faith, are known to be the Cross which we are called to take up as disciples of the Lord.

For most in our society, "Easter" is long gone this year. For faithful Orthodox Christians, we have only just arrived at the celebration of Pascha. Our fasting, our prayer, our Lenten journey is only now fulfilled.

"Believe and you will see Him." The reality of the Resurrection, witnessed through eyes of faith, changes everything. No longer do we need to be subject to sorrow or fear. Christ is risen, and nothing can take His victorious gift of everlasting life away from us. The holy confessors and martyrs were well aware of this. This awareness gave them the courage to stay the course of their faith, under the greatest of hardships. Even facing the threat of death, through eyes of faith, they were acutely aware of the Victor of death strengthening and comforting them.

It is only through our belief that we behold the full splendor and beauty of Pascha. With eyes of faith, on Pascha we become witnesses to the complete and ultimate victory of life over death, of freedom over captivity, of God over the evil one. "Trampling down death by death," our Risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ grants new life to all who believe in Him as King and as God.

I greet all of you on this radiant feast. May we celebrate the most-holy day of Pascha "with faith and with love." May the triumphant brilliance of Christ's resurrection fill our lives with joy and peace. "Believe and we will see Him."

With love in the Risen Lord,



+ HERMAN
Archbishop of Washington and New York
Metropolitan of All America and Canada
Not all who wander are lost.

Offline Starlight

  • Site Supporter
  • OC.net guru
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,537
Re: 2008 Paschal Encyclicals (in many languages)
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2008, 04:12:27 PM »
PERMANENT CONFERENCE OF UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX BISHOPS BEYOND THE BORDERS OF UKRAINE

PASCHA – THE RESURRECTION OF OUR LORD – 2008

To the venerable clergy of all ranks and the devout laity of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church beyond the borders of and within Ukraine.  May the Peace of the Risen Lord be with you all!

Christ is Risen!  Indeed He is Risen!
 
During the past months we have all undertaken two forty day spiritual pilgrimages.  The first led us to a shelter for animals – a cave – from which emanated the Love of God in the Newborn Christ Child, a Love, which continues to fill and guide each of our lives.  The second pilgrimage brought us to another cave – this time an empty tomb – from which emanates the Light of our Risen Lord.  “Unto you a child is born…” carried us to a spiritual Bethlehem.  “Christ is Risen from the dead, trampling down death by death…” opens for us the gates to God’s Heavenly Kingdom.

In the last conversations recorded in Luke's Gospel, our Lord talks to the disciples about His Crucifixion and His Resurrection.  He opens up for them a deep understanding of these events. He tells them that as a result of His Crucifixion and Resurrection, they will be clothed with power from on high.  They will be empowered to go out into the world and change the world.  They will be empowered to be His witnesses in Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.  In the Gospel of John, as we heard on Holy Thursday evening during the Passion Gospels, our Lord promises us that where He goes now, we will follow later and that we will be one with God and one with each other.  “Because I live, you will live also.  At that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in Me and I in you.” (John 14:19-20)

The Resurrection – PASCHA – of the Son of God has made it possible for us to enter into the union with God that our Lord Jesus Christ spent His whole earthly ministry explaining and modeling for us.  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 Him through the Crucifixion and through the Resurrection is available to us now.  Most of us already are caught up in the quest for power. We want economic power; the power to possess things; the power to succeed – as success is measured in our human terms; the power to look good in the eyes of others; the power to satisfy our every desire – without regard to the positive or negative morality of those desires; the power to say, “I've got it made.” The quest for this kind of power has emerged as the number one priority in our society and almost every society throughout the world.  Deep within us, however, we know that there is something wrong about this; that we are deluding ourselves. 
 
God is calling us to life.  God is offering us the power to live as complete persons.  But He cannot get through to us and we cannot be one with Him if we clog up the channels of Grace with immoral desires and false deities.  All we achieve, all we possess, all the things of this world we seek to attain are lifeless and of no value and of no importance -- if we are unwilling to place them under God's Rule.  It is a matter of priorities: “seek first the Kingdom of God”, Who is calling us into the Light of the Resurrection.  God is offering us the Power to share the Light, to be His witnesses here at home and to the ends of the earth.  May it never be said to us, that which our Lord says to these Pharisees who were so turned in on themselves: “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written – ‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me; in vain do they worship Me’” (Mark. 7:6-7).

There is a real necessity for us on this PASCHA 2008 to return to our Ukrainian Orthodox Christian roots, to living that which we vocalize in prayer, to examine our lives in the Light of the Gospel of Life and to evangelize ourselves first before we can ever hope to evangelize others. To be Ukrainian Orthodox is to be obedient to Christ, to be disciplined and responsible members of the community – not members of a secular religion or obedient to our personal desires.  To be Ukrainian Orthodox is to put Christ first in our lives and actions, to live our baptismal reality to the fullest as did millions of our forefathers in the Faith.  If we fail to live what we pray, we most certainly do not glorify God, nor honor ourselves or our heritage, which is a profound heritage that literally preserved Holy Orthodoxy at the most critical moments of its history.

May the risen Christ, Who imparts to us His peace, open all our hearts to His Good News and those of our brethren in Ukraine, who partake with us of “one Bread and one Cup” finding unity in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit  May our risen Lord be praised and glorified by our words and deeds.

Christ is Risen!  Indeed He is Risen!

In the abiding Love of our Risen Lord,

+ Constantine, Metropolitan – Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA and in Diaspora

+ John, Metropolitan – Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada

+ Antony, Archbishop – Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA

+ Ioan, Archbishop – Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Diaspora, Eparchy of Australia/New Zealand

+ Yurij, Archbishop – Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada

+ Jeremiah, Bishop – Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Eparchy in South America (UOC of USA)

+ Andriy, Bishop – Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Diaspora, Eparchy of Western Europe.

 

Offline Starlight

  • Site Supporter
  • OC.net guru
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,537
Re: 2008 Paschal Encyclicals (in many languages)
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2008, 04:15:16 PM »
Here comes the English version:

 B A R T H O L O M E W

BY THE MERCY OF GOD
ARCHBISHOP OF CONSTANTINOPLE - NEW ROME
AND ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH
TO THE PLENITUDE OF THE CHURCH
GRACE, PEACE AND MERCY
FROM OUR GLORIOUSLY RISEN SAVIOR CHRIST

Dearly beloved Brethren and Children in the Lord,

“Behold, the winter has passed!”  “Arisen is the spring” of salvation; “flowers appear across the land, the sound of the turtle-dove is heard, … the vines are in bloom and give forth their fragrance”.  A sacred Pascha – great and holy – has arisen; and it warms, lights and makes radiant the world. “Now all things are filled with light, both heaven and earth and the nethermost regions of the earth.”

CHRIST IS RISEN!

Our God, Who is beyond all suffering and is Immortal, Who is the comely Bridegroom of the Church, our Lord Jesus Christ, Who is our Firstborn Brother and Dearest Friend – “He is risen from the dead, having trampled down death by death” – three days after He cried out from the crest of the Cross: “It is consummated!”  “Hades was embittered when it encountered”  Him, because Christ destroyed his lordship. As God, He rightly emptied out his chambers of darkness, freely bestowing life on those He found in the tombs. But not only this; to all those who believe in Him from then until the consummation of the age – indeed to all those who live in Him and hold fast their faith and confession in Him until the end, the Lord grants everlasting life and a sure resurrection. Christ, “Who has girded His loins with righteousness and clothed his sides with truth,”  is Risen from the Tomb. “As the One Who loves mankind, He has raised up Adam, the father of us all.” 

Behold then, dearly beloved brethren and children, the crown of our Great Feast and the atmosphere of springtime; in the midst of its first bloom the Church announces the Good News to the Universe. The heavy winter of death has passed away! The icy tyranny of the devil and his domination have been overcome. The frightful reign of darkness and perdition has been undone. “The Lord is King, He has girded Himself with majesty!”

We behold Jesus Who, of His own free will, out of his unconditional love, suffered on the Cross, died and was buried for our sake and for our salvation. We have just now worshipped Him Risen from the dead, and together with the Apostles and the Myrrh-Bearers we have heard from his holy mouth the words: “Peace be unto you!”  and “Rejoice!”  – and our hearts are filled with joy. Indeed, “no one will take our joy from us,”  because more than even our own, the personal death of every single human being has been mightily abolished. This is why we, who have crucified the carnal mindset of the old person “together with the passions and lusts,”  and “who have died with Christ: this is the reason we believe that we [shall] live with Him.”  For as “we have been buried” with Christ “through Baptism,”  we have become “planted with Him,” that is, we have become partakers of His Resurrection. 

St. Gregory the Theologian trumpets this truth with the highest rhetorical skill when he says: “Yesterday I was crucified with You, O Christ; today I abound with glory. Yesterday I died with You; today I am filled with life. Yesterday I was buried with You; today I arise with You.”  That which has plagued us from ages past has once and for all been resolved by the Risen Lord. Our agony is over. “Christ is Risen, and life can truly be lived!”  From now on, Life and our Resurrection are not things to be sought for – not dreams, neither a utopia. From here on, Life is, and the Resurrection is: concrete, tangible reality. A reality that has a specific face and name: “a name above every name” – Jesus Christ – before Whom “every knee shall bow – whether in Heaven or on earth or under the earth,”  and every tongue shall confess that He alone is Life-Giver and Lord. He is the One Who lives and reigns forever. He is the One Who by His ever-favorable will distributes His Kingdom, His glory and His inheritance from His Father, to all who share in His Cross, His death and His Resurrection, as “He is the Firstborn to many brethren.” 

Him do we beseech, from our Martyric Patriarchal and Ecumenical See, that He grace the world with peace; that He illumine the souls of men with truth and righteousness; that He bestow patience and encouragement on those who face adversity; and that He grant the taste of salvation and life eternal to all believers.

Unto Him, Who is the Conqueror of Death and the Prince of Life, be the glory, dominion, honor and worship, together with Father and the Holy Spirit, unto the ages. Amen.

Holy Pascha 2008


BARTHOLOMEW of Constantinople
Your fervent intercessor
before the Risen Christ
 

Offline Starlight

  • Site Supporter
  • OC.net guru
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,537
Re: 2008 Paschal Encyclicals (in many languages)
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2008, 04:17:52 PM »
From the Ruling Hierarch at one of my previous locations:

Encyclical on Holy Week and Easter     
 

Dearly Beloved in the Lord,

 

‘Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”;

 and she told them that he had said these things to her’.1

Our Merciful God, Who is worshipped in Trinity and loves mankind, has again considered us worthy to arrive at this holy season to celebrate the Passion and radiant Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. “See, for us the longed-for saving feast has arrived, the Resurrection day of our Lord Jesus Christ, the foundation of peace, the cause of change, the removal of war, the abolition of death, and the defeat of the devil”. 2 Together with Christians throughout the ages we will be taken spiritually to the Holy Land to bow down before the Risen Christ, to once again unite our lives, liturgically and mystically, to the lives of the Apostles and Myrrh-bearing Women, who were witnesses of all those events which took place in the Holy City, with Christ the God-man as the Leader and First Witness. This is why He told His disciples that ‘the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many’.3


The history of the Church is the history of the Risen Christ and it has continues without cessation until this very day – a history which throughout the ages has borne the marks of the Cross and Resurrection. He came into the world as a humble man, a stranger and in secret, for when He was born, ‘there was no place to be found at the inn’4, and so He was born in a stable. The profound humility of Christ accumulates in His Passion, Crucifixion and Death. The holy Evangelists describe with some detail Christ’s Passion, and they diligently compiled ‘all that they saw and believed’5 and recorded these things so that humanity may have a written and everlasting testament of God’s love towards mankind. The coming of Christ into the world in the form and likeness of a man - His preaching, Passion, Crucifixion, Burial and glorious Resurrection – confirms not only the divinity and distinctiveness of His mission, but also God’s desire to save Creation and to return man to his lost paradise. ‘For he came to save the lost’6.

 

Christ is the new Adam, who with his Sacrifice and profound humility healed the human race, in contrast to the first Adam7, who fell from Divine Love and was expelled from the Paradise of gentle and divine blessedness. Christ is the true servant, who is obedient even to death in order to carry out His eternal and inimitable mission, as the prophet Isaiah distinctively proclaims: ‘Thus he bore our iniquities… he was wounded for our transgressions… and like a lamb that is led to the slaughter; and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth’8. Christ is the Shepherd of the Sheep for Whom He is sacrificed. “The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep”9.
 

 

Our Mother Church propagates the story of Christ, and imparts His grace to us, and hands down from generation to generation the message of hope in the Resurrection. The Church invites us to celebrate and to worship Christ the Bridegroom, Who sprang forth from the tomb ‘fairer in beauty than all mortal kind’10. “Christ, having won the war over the devil and all his weapons, death and the curse he hanged upon the high cross”.11

The Risen Christ filled the world with the light of His glory and the joy of Heaven, to return humanity to hope, to give ‘the manna that comes down from heaven’12, to nourish and replenish man and all Creation. “Let us celebrate, therefore, this feast on which the Lord arose. For he arose and raised the world up with him. He indeed arose, tearing apart the bonds of death, while he raised us, dissolving the bands of our sins”.13

 

Therefore, brothers and sisters in the Lord, we are children of the Resurrection; we live in the time of Christ, and so with humility and obedience and a pure heart let us entrust our lives to the Risen Christ, who took upon Himself the weight of our sins and, with His Sacrifice and Resurrection, made us inheritors of His Kingdom. We are called to make this feature of the Orthodox Christian one of action and love towards our brethren, for whom Christ died and was risen.

 

Let all of us, young and old, flock to the churches to pray; to greet one another with the festal greeting, “Christ has risen!”; to receive the Most Pure Mysteries, that we may obtain forgiveness of sins, and become partakers and sharers of eternal life and the joy of His Kingdom. Let us pray for the keeping of peace in the world, for our Oecumenical Patriarchate, for the People of the United Kingdom, of Greece and Cyprus and all the world, and for the will of the Triune God to be done. Let us proclaim in a practical way our faith in the Risen Christ and our dedication to His Church, which until this very hour lives, teaches and celebrates the mystery of His Resurrection. Like St Mary Magdalene and the holy Apostles, let us keep the Queen of Feasts and pass it on without change or alteration from generation to generation that the world may have peace, that people may be enlightened, that the world may progress, that families may be sanctified, that the young may be educated and kept safe, and society may become more human and turn its gaze to heaven.
 

 

Wishing the Faithful of this biblical eparchy of the Oecumenical Throne of Constantinople living in the United Kingdom and Ireland, both near and far, the joy of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who has risen from the dead, I remain with much love in the Risen Lord and fervent prayers.
 
 

Easter 2008

   

Gregorios, Archbishop of

Thyateira & Great Britain