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« on: April 25, 2006, 06:56:22 PM »

What if similarly to Christmas 2005, we will post Pascha greetings of our hierarchs here?


Permanent Conference of Ukrainian Orthodox Bishops Beyond the Borders of Ukraine

Paschal Greeting — 2006!

To the Priests, Deacons, Monastics and Faithful of our Holy Ukrainian Orthodox
Church beyond the borders of Ukraine, all entrusted to our Archpastoral care:

 CHRIST IS RISEN!  INDEED HE IS RISEN!

We greet you, beloved brothers and sisters, on the occasion of the Joyous and Holy Day, the Luminous Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. CHRIST IS RISEN! This solemn greeting can be heard throughout the world and we join in it wishing you all health, happiness and joy.

Pascha — the Resurrection of our Lord — is the crowning event in all Divine care for the redemption of the humanity from sin, curse and death.  It is the assurance of our own future resurrection the strong foundation of our faith. As Christ said: “I am the Resurrection and the Life”.

The Feast of Pascha is the “Feast of all Feasts”. It is especially during Pascha that the firmness and the purity of our faith are revealed in us and our hearts open up to the unattainable love and charity and the greatness and holiness of the Christian Faith are strengthened. The Feast unites all of these qualities at the highest level.  It is the feast of the highest solemnity in our Faith, the highest morality, faith and love. On this day the earth and our hearts are filled with the incomprehensible joy by the radiance of the Resurrection of the Son of God.

Nature reflects the Resurrection in its spring awakening. Every spring foretells the future spring of the entire world. The warmth of life vanquishes the cold death of nature. The seed planted in the soil sprouts and presents to us the concept of our own resurrection.  In the light of Christ’s Resurrection our departed loved ones are alive — to God and to us — and we share with them our Paschal greeting as a certification of their future resurrection.

The Resurrection of Christ has enlightened the entire world with the Glory of God: the Conqueror of Hades, sin and death is, Himself, radiant in glory, as are the angels and sinful humanity, because we have become children of God and inheritors of the Kingdom of God.  Let us remember how, having physically suffered as a mortal, the Master of life — Christ — descends into Hades, to free the souls of the righteous ones of the Old Testament from the shackles of hell. And behold, they are pass through the gates of Paradise to the incorruptible, real life, singing praises of the eternal Pascha.

The earthly world however is still engulfed in gloom, horror, sorrow and tears. The cross still stands on Golgotha, the stone still bars the entrance to the grave. Dreadful pain and grief deeply pierce the heart of the Mother of God.  The Myrrh-bearing women are gathering early in the morning preparing to anoint the body of the Divine Teacher.

The blessed moment is, however, drawing nearing. The heavenly joy is transmitted to the earth, which is convulsed to its core by a strong earthquake. The vibrant Messenger from Heaven appears in the tomb, shining with the unapproachable and radiant light of the Resurrection.

“Rejoice!” says he to the Myrrh-bearers.  To the one “Full of Grace” he says:  “Pure Virgin, rejoice, your Son is Risen!”   From one end or the world to the other, from generation to generation the joyful response resounds and will forever resound:  “Indeed He is Risen!”

The joy of this great Feast of Feasts enables us to rejoice together with our loved ones. During the Paschal liturgical celebration of the Resurrection, the Holy Spirit opens our hearts to joy and love through the Paschal kiss and the greeting: “Christ is Risen!” At this moment all personal grievances, offences and ill feelings disappear. In the Paschal love we come closer to comprehending God’s Love, which defies all understanding.

May the Myrrh-bearers teach us to preserve and to pass on to our descendents all the freshness, purity and fragrance of this Paschal joy.  May they instill in us their great love for the Savior, a love, which made them, even though weak in the flesh, more courageous than the Apostles, a love, which irresistibly led them without fear through the crowds of our Lord’s worst enemies, to Golgotha and to the doors of the tomb.  It was a love that gave them the courage and the bravery, ignoring all danger and prepared to sacrifice all, to rush to the sealed tomb, a love which made them the first to carry the news of the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

In her sacred hymnography our Holy Church compares the Most-Radiant Day of Resurrection/Pascha with other Most-Radiant Feasts and refers to it as the first “morning”, the forerunner of another, which will shine with the unapproachable Light, a day without end, a day that has no evening. Let us, therefore, our Dear and Beloved, honor this first morning of the future eternal day, so that its sun does not set before our eyes, leaving us in an impenetrable darkness.  Let us turn with feelings of love and fellowship in Christ, with sincere hearts to all our brothers and sisters — the children of or Holy Church — and say: “Christ is Risen, and we shall live! Christ is Risen and has conquered death, and we shall conquer the falsehood and bondage to sin. May God rise, and His enemies be scattered!”      

On this great holy day, let us not mention enemies, or better yet, let us call them “brothers” and greet them also with the Paschal greeting: Christ is Risen!  Even when they might say: “Christ never existed, he was never incarnated and he certainly did not rise from the dead”, we shall respond with even greater faith and with mutual conviction: “Not only did Christ exist, but He exists forever, He is alive forever. Christ is Risen!”  Even if Satan himself and through his servants, would slander the Risen Christ — our Life, our Light and our Hope, we shall bravely respond to him with a sense of Almighty Victory and the certainty of his doom: “Christ is Risen!” To all who live and breathe, to all God’s creation we shall say today: Christ is Risen!”

Amongst us, dear brothers and sisters in Christ, in sincerity and in the Love of Christ, let us forget all disagreements, let us embrace one another and walk in one spirit along the road to the strengthening of our Holy Church, to the resurrection and a blessed life for our nation.  May Christ, our True God, Who has Risen from the dead, who has trampled down death by death and upon those in the tombs has bestowed life, through the prayers of His All-Holy Mother, the Holy and Glorious Apostles and all the Saints, have mercy on us and save us, because He is Merciful and He loves mankind.

 CHRIST IS RISEN!  INDEED HE IS RISEN!

 + CONSTANTINE, Metropolitan
Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA and Diaspora

+ JOHN, Metropolitan
Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada

+ ANTONY, Archbishop
the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA

+ VSEVOLOD, Archbishop
Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA

+ IOAN, Archbishop
Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Diaspora
Eparchy of Australia and New Zealand

+ YURIJ, Archbishop
Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada

+ JEREMIAH, Bishop
Ukrainian Orthodox Eparchy of South America (UOC of USA)

+ ANDREW, Bishop
Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Diaspora — Eparchy of Great Britain and Western Europe
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« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2006, 08:24:45 PM »

PASCHA 2006

Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen!

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

This is the day of resurrection! Let us be illumined by the Feast!
Let us embrace each other! Let us call ‘brothers’ even those that hate us,
and forgive all by the resurrection!
(The Paschal Stikhiri)

Dearly Beloved in Christ,

As we began our journey to Pascha, we approached one another, seeking and offering forgiveness as that essential first step on the road of repentance. Today, as we celebrate the completion of our journey, we celebrate that forgiveness which comes from the empty tomb, that forgiveness which tears down the walls of separation and challenges us to embrace friend and foe alike for the sake of the One Who invites us to partake of His divine nature.

Far from being a celebration of events past, our proclamation of the Resurrection is rooted in an event that transcends time and space. As such, we literally participate in a reality that is ever-present, that knows “no sunset,” that unites that which has gone before us with that which is yet to come in a timeless celebration of the most perfect example and experience of love revealed to mankind. We, at one and the same time, stand with the women at the entrance to the sepulcher and in the midst of the eternal Kingdom of God. Our hearts are illumined. Our eyes are opened as the risen Savior challenges us to look beyond the cares and sorrows of this world to the joys promised in the life of the world to come. Our envy and passions, our pride and hatred are rendered meaningless as we partake of the eternal victory and new life so freely offered to us by Christ, the eternal Victor.

Just as our journey began with the call to seek and to offer forgiveness, so too the true joy of Holy Pascha is fulfilled in forgiveness. Our Savior makes no compromise in this regard. The Holy Fathers remind us that the warm fire of God’s love indeed purifies and purges us when we reach out to one another in love; at the same time, it torments us when our hearts remain cold, when we seek forgiveness yet fail to offer it, when we refuse to embrace others with that “holy kiss” of forgiveness, even for the sake of the Resurrection.

To say that we live in unsettled times, filled with anger and hatred, is an understatement. News and images of war and fear, inhumanity and death, flash before our eyes every day. The world sees aggression as a sign of strength, forgiveness and reconciliation as a sign of weakness. Yet, in the midst of such chaos, the light of the empty tomb shines forth in those who embrace the risen Savior, the Light of the world “Who can never be overcome by darkness” and Who challenges us to let our light shine before mankind.

May we be accounted worthy of our calling by offering to one and all that divine forgiveness Our Lord so abundantly grants to those who accept — and offer — it. And may the eternal joy of His Kingdom consume us here and now, even as we anticipate the fulfillment of all things in the Risen Christ.

With love in the Risen Lord,



+ HERMAN
Archbishop of Washington and New York
Metropolitan of All America and Canada
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« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2006, 10:23:51 PM »

JORDANVILLE: April 23, 2006

Paschal Epistle of His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia

Christ is Risen!

Once again, our merciful Lord has enabled us to cross the expanse of Great Lent and greet this day, which the Lord has made, the day of His glorious Resurrection from the dead!

Pascha is the feast of feasts and the triumph of triumphs, it is the pinnacle of the annual cycle of church services. For this day our Lord Jesus Christ descended to Earth, lived among mankind and was crucified, so as to make us participants of His Resurrection.

Our entire earthly life is reflected in the preparatory weeks to this day—during Lent we bear the cross of abstinence, cleansing our senses, as the Church sings: "Let us cleanse our senses and we shall behold Christ radiant with the unapproachable light of the Resurrection." And in our earthly life we bear the cross of sorrows and suffering, so that by bearing this cross, without grumbling, we may see Christ radiant in the eternal life and be together with Him.

The Paschal midnight office begins with the singing of prayers which for centuries has brought the hearts of Orthodox Christians to trembling: "The Angels in Heaven hymn Thy Resurrection, O Christ the Savior. Do Thou make us, on earth, also worthy to glorify Thee with a pure heart."

"Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God," said the Lord. And the Holy Church tirelessly calls upon us to cleanse our hearts. In the canon before Holy Communion we repeat: " Create in me a clean heart, oh God, and renew a right spirit within me. " Cleansing the heart is achieved only through the struggle of prayer and fasting and through Divine grace-filled help, especially granted to us in His holy Mysteries.

After the Lord's Resurrection, He descended into the depths of the earth and led out the righteous souls of the Old Testament. Similarly, in the Mystery of the Eucharist, He descends into the depths of men's souls everyday all over the world, and illuminates them in communion with His Divinity, makes them related to Himself, so that they could "more perfectly partake of Him in the unending day of His Kingdom!" Dear brothers and sisters, let us more often hasten to approach the salvific Chalice of the Lord, for therein is His investment in our salvation and eternal life!

In the bright days after Pascha, we experience as did the first Christians the joyous events: the appearance of the resurrected Lord to His disciples, His bodily Ascension into heaven, and the establishment of the Church through the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles.

For us this year there is another celebration: on April 23/May 6, our Russian Church Abroad will send its elected delegates from all corners of the world to the IV All-Diaspora Council, so that, with God's help, one of the main problems concerning the Russian Church for 80 years can be resolved—the question of our relationship with the Russian Church in the homeland.

We must remember that there is always a twofold challenge before all Orthodox Christians: on one hand, to preserve Orthodox teaching in all its purity, and on the other, to preserve unity among Orthodox brethren.

The Church reveals itself in unity, as the Creed states. Not only is external unity important, but so is internal unity. This is unity of spirit, unity in the Living Body of Christ, in which we confess with one mind the faith of the Apostles and the Saints.

Such unity cannot be based on immediate political and human interests, for it is only attainable in the truth of Christ. That is why we must all prayerfully prepare for the IV All-Diaspora Council. In the days before the Council, we must recall the examples of the lives of the Holy Fathers—the participants of the Seven Ecumenical Councils, and appeal to them in prayer.

We must also augment our appeals to the Lord that He help us to preserve our loyalty to the legacy of the founding fathers of our Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, and at the same time to safeguard the unity of the flock of our Church.

In the days after Pascha, the Apostles immersed themselves in prayer, awaiting the great promises of our Savior; let us follow their example, and delve into prayer and guard our senses, and let us spend these holy days being spiritually focused, let us avoid condemnations, quarrels and gossip, let us abide in prayer for the Church and her pastors, asking the Lord to grant us His mercy, and manifest in us His holy will.

In a few weeks we will stand before the sacred treasures of the Church Abroad—the Protectress of the Russian Diaspora and the incorrupt relics of St John of Shanghai and San Francisco, and with one spirit we will sing: "Today the Grace of the Holy Spirit has gathered us together." Let these not be idle words for us, but may they serve as a pledge of the triumph of the Divine Spirit and the Orthodox Church!

I greet you all, dear archpastors, pastors, monastics and laymen on the bright holiday of the Resurrection of Christ!

+Metropolitan Laurus

Pascha 2006
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« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2006, 05:50:28 AM »

Easter Message 2006
STYLIANOS

By the grace of God Archbishop of Australia
To all the Clergy and devout faithful
of our Greek Orthodox Archdiocese

Brother concelebrants and beloved children in the Lord,

Great Lent has trickled by once again, like a tranquil stream of water, amidst our daily routine.

It reached a pinnacle, in its own distinct style, during Holy Week and in the splendorous light of the Resurrection.

Yet we know from previous years that the joy of the Resurrection will not last long this year either. Not even for the faithful!

If it is true that the joy of the Resurrection 'evaporates' quickly and almost unnoticeably into dreary 'substitutes for joy', which bear no resemblance to the abolishment of death, this is because we have long since lost the flavour of true life.

Who would dare claim that life is merely a matter of biology and physiology, which we share with other mammals?

It is therefore timely to remind ourselves and others that LIFE and DEATH are deeply interconnected. For human beings in particular, life and death are solely dependent on whether or not there is COMMUNION with God - the only source of life and immortality.

It is not a coincidence that the most profound and sensitive Mystics throughout the history of world civilization never equated 'death' with illness, physical weakness or the final mortification of the BODY! For devout people of every time and place, true death is always seen as unbearable loneliness and the 'absence' of God.

To be 'without God' is the most tragic and concise definition of death.

Modern people would be much more familiar with 'loneliness' than their forebears in previous times. The latter, by not being deprived of the vivid presence of the other 'person', rightly described 'co-existence' and 'in-volvement' as communion. They also called this the 'unshakeable life'!

Today - even though we talk about 'the confidentiality of personal information', 'human rights' and 'crimes against humanity' and so on - we see that the sacredness of the human 'person' as the 'image' of God, is increasingly disappearing.

And it is disappearing not only in the crimes of masked thieves. Nor only through the hypocrisy of the impious. It is now disappearing 'legally' behind impersonal 'multinational companies'. It is disappearing behind digital messages that are sent in one direction only. Behind the automation of the world wide web. Behind the unspoken language of figurative and numerical slogans …

Following such 'spoiling' of human life, how can all things not seem routine, since there is no longer a 'communion of persons'? This is why we have for some time celebrated Easter as a rather uninspiring and tedious formality, which in fact leads us to even greater loneliness!

And it is the greatest irony to recall that 'Pascha' literally means 'passover', 'passport' and a 'way out' of a miserable situation into a place of light and liberation. Precisely as the people of Israel travelled through their Exodus from the slavery of Egypt to the Promised Land, through all the ordeals of the wilderness, under the uncompromising guidance of Moses.

If we carefully read how St Luke the Evangelist describes the human pain of Christ (with the tenderness and nostalgia He felt during the last Easter before His Passion), perhaps we too will be enabled to rediscover its purely human dimension.

For it was through the Cross and Resurrection that Christ 're-established' the solidarity of all people, just as the Creator had pre-eternally wanted it to be.

While the other Evangelists describe Christ's Last Supper and institution of the Holy Eucharist in a manner which is strictly 'chronological', it is Luke - the Physician and Iconographer, the constant travelling companion of Paul - who uniquely underlines, on the one hand, the closeness of the specific partakers in the Supper and, on the other, the universal character of salvation, having the chosen people of course at its centre.

That is how all traditional commentators viewed the following characteristic words of Christ:

    "I have wanted so much to eat this Passover meal with you before I suffer! For I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God" (Luke 22:15 onwards)

This precise interpretation is what makes the Gospel of Luke the Good News of 'compassion' and 'mercy' par excellence.

We all have a share in the mercy and compassion of the Lord who was Crucified and Resurrected for all people. So long as we accept it.
A blessed Easter to you, sisters and brothers!

A joyful Resurrection feast!

Peace be to all!

Amen.

Easter 2006

With fervent prayers in the Risen Christ

Archbishop S T Y L I A N O S

Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in Australia
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« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2006, 08:45:09 AM »


Protocol 34/06

Holy Pascha 2006
The Feast of Feasts

"Thanks be to God, Who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."
I Corinthians 15:57

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 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,

On this great and glorious day of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, the Feast of Feasts of our Holy Orthodox Church, I greet you with our time-honored exclamation of truth and victory:  Christos Anesti! Christ is Risen!  On this day of the Resurrection, the words of St. Paul to the Corinthians, "Thanks be to God, Who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (I Corinthians 15:57), resound with great clarity, for today the Risen Jesus Christ has triumphed over sin, evil, and death.

Our expression of thanksgiving to God for His greatness is a defining hallmark of Pascha.  One such expression of our thanks for His greatness is revealed in the service of the Agape Vespers of Pascha, when we joyously sing the words of the Psalmist, "Who is so great a God as our God?  For You are the God, Who alone works wonders"  (Psalm 77:13-14).  The wonder worked by God which we celebrate with joy and awe on this day of Pascha is one of ultimate victory; namely, the total reversal of the devil’s power upon the fate of human beings, which was secured by the descent of Christ into Hades and His Resurrection from the dead.  Through His own death and descent into Hades, Christ conquered death and gave life to those in the tombs. A vibrant depiction of this victory is the Holy Icon of the Anastasis (Resurrection) displayed throughout the Paschal period in our churches.  This Holy Icon depicts the Risen Christ raising Adam and Eve from the grave, a symbolic image of Christ’s liberation of the entirety of humanity, who had once been held captive by the power of death, but who are now saved by Christ and live eternally with Him.

It should be emphasized that the victory that has been given to us by God through Jesus Christ was in essence in fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies. God declared through the prophet Hosea: "I will redeem them from death. Where is your victory, death? Where is your sting, Hades?" (Hosea 13:14). Also, the prophet Isaiah speaks the same way (Isaiah 25:Cool.  St. Paul clearly alludes to these prophesies when he addresses the Corinthians: "When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: 'Death is swallowed up in victory.  O death, where is thy victory?  O death, where is thy sting?'" (I Corinthians 15:54-55).  St. John Chrysostom too deliberately uses these words in his celebrated Paschal homily, which is read in triumphant fashion on this day in our churches.  He does this to affirm the continuity of this triumph and truth, and to categorically declare the determinative nature of Christ’s victory over death.

The significance of the Old Testament prophecy in foretelling the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is its affirmation to us that our merciful God has continually loved us from the dawn of our existence; that it had always been His will to restore humanity from its fallen condition to a condition of everlasting communion with Him; and that the extraordinary means by which He chose to accomplish this was to condescend to enter our world as a human being and to suffer unto death, even to death on a Cross.  As a result, our sins have been remitted, and we have been granted eternal life with Him, Who is Risen from the dead.

My beloved Christians,

Through Christ, the sting of death has been rendered venomless!  As the prophets foretold, the claim of the devil upon our fate has been rendered forever void!  As the Psalmist declared, God alone has worked a great wonder that surpasses the limits of our human comprehension!  On this glorious day of the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, let us be mindful of the greatness of God, and let us be attuned to the natural yearning of our souls to offer Him unceasing praise for the victory that He has given us through Jesus Christ on this day.  As we are mindful of this great victory throughout this Paschal season, may we come closer to appreciating and comprehending the full import of the triumphant words of St. Paul when he speaks to the Corinthians about the Resurrection:  "Thanks be to God, Who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (15:57).

Christos Anesti! Truly the Lord is Risen!

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

+DEMETRIOS
Archbishop of America

--------------------------------------------------------------------

  Ἀριθ. ÃŽÂ ρωτ. 34 / 06

 

Ἅγιον Πάσχα 2006

Ἑορτή τῶν Ἑορτῶν

 
Τῷ δέ Θεῷ χάρις
   ÃƒÆ’â€žÃ¡Â¿Â· διδόντι ἡμῖν Ï„ÏŒ νῖκος διά τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ

Κορινθίους Α´, 15:57

 

Πρός τούς Σεβασμιωτάτους καί Θεοφιλεστάτους Ἀρχιερεῖς, τούς Εὐλαβεστάτους Ἱερεῖς καί Διακόνους, τούς Μοναχούς καί Μοναχές, τούς Προέδρους καί Μέλη τῶν Κοινοτικῶν Συμβουλίων, τά Ἡμερήσια καί Ἀπογευματινά Σχολεῖα, τίς Φιλοπτώχους Ἀδελφότητες, τήν Νεολαία, τίς Ἑλληνορθόδοξες Ὀργανώσεις καί ὁλόκληρο τό Χριστεπώνυμον πλήρωμα τῆς Ἱερᾶς Ἀρχιεπισκοπῆς Ἀμερικῆς.

 

Προσφιλεῖς μου ἀδελφοί καί ἀδελφές ἐν Χριστῷ,

 

            Αὐτή τήν μεγάλη καί λαμπρή ἡμέρα Ï„á¿â€ Ï‚ Ἀναστάσεως τοῦ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ἐκ νεκρῶν, τήν Ἑορτή τῶν Ἑορτῶν Ï„á¿â€ Ï‚ Ἁγίας Ὀρθοδόξου Ἐκκλησίας μας, σᾶς χαιρετίζω μέ τήν διαχρονική ἀναφώνηση ἀληθείας καί θριάμβου: Χριστός Ἀνέστη! Αὐτή τήν ἡμέρα Ï„á¿â€ Ï‚ Ἀναστάσεως, οἱ λόγοι τοῦ Ἀποστόλου ÃŽÂ αύλου πρός Κορινθίους Ï„á¿· δέ Θεῷ χάρις Ï„á¿· διδόντι ἡμῖν Ï„ÏŒ νῖκος διά τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ (Α´ Κορινθίους, 15:57 ) ἀντηχοῦν καθαρότατα, διότι σήμερα ὁ Ἀναστάς Ἰησοῦς Χριστός ἐθριάμβευσε ἐπί τῃς ἁμαρτίας, τοῦ κακοῦ καί τοῦ θανάτου.

 

            Ἡ ἔκφραση τῶν εὐχαριστιῶν μας πρός τόν Θεό γιά τήν μεγαλωσύνη Του ἀποτελεῖ χαρακτηριστικό σημεῖο τοῦ ÃŽÂ άσχα. Μία τέτοιου εἴδους ἔκφραση τῶν εὐχαριστιῶν μας γιά τή μεγαλωσύνη Του ἀποκαλύπτεται στόν Ἑσπερινό Ï„á¿â€ Ï‚ Ἀγάπης τοῦ ÃŽÂ άσχα, ὅταν χαρμόσυνα ψάλλουμε τούς στίχους τοῦ Ψαλμωδοῦ, Τίς Θεός μέγας ὡς ὁ Θεός ἡμῶν; Σύ εἶ ὁ Θεός ὁ ποιῶν θαυμάσια (Ψαλμ. 76: 14-15). Τό θαῦμα πού ἔκανε ὁ Θεός, Ï„ÏŒ ὁποῖο ἑορτάζουμε μέ χαρά καί δέος τήν ἡμέρα τοῦ ÃŽÂ άσχα εἶναι θαῦμα ἀπολύτου θριάμβου· εἶναι δηλαδή, ἡ πλήρης ἀνατροπή Ï„á¿â€ Ï‚ δυνάμεως τοῦ διαβόλου ἐπί τοῦ ἀνθρωπίνου προορισμοῦ, ἀνατροπή ἡ ὁποία ἐξασφαλίσθη μέ τήν κάθοδο τοῦ Χριστοῦ στόν Ἄδη καί τήν ἈνάσÃ
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« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2006, 08:49:27 AM »

â€Â   B A R T H O L O M E W,
BY THE GRACE OF GOD ARCHBISHOP OF CONSTANTINOPLE,
NEW ROME, AND ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH,
TO THE PLENITUDE OF THE CHURCH,
GRACE, PEACE AND MERCY
FROM CHRIST THE SAVIOUR, RISEN IN GLORY

"O life, how can you die? How can you dwell in a tomb?"

Brother concelebrants and pious, God-loving children of the Church,

All of Nature, the choirs of angels, the multitudes of humankind: all are astonished and amazed.  The entire creation stands in fear and trembling in the presence of the great and unspeakable Mystery of the Holy Passion and the glorious Resurrection of Christ the Savior, and asks: “How is it possible that Life, true Life, Life itself, the source of Life, can die?  How can a grave become the dwelling place of Life, of our Lord Jesus Christ Who said of himself, “I am … the life ” (John 14:6)?  The answers are revealed to us in the Resurrection.

Many of the questions asked in days of old remain unanswered today. What happened then, once and for all, is repeated without ceasing.  The Mystery continues, as does our wonder. Christ remains for many in our own day “a sign that is spoken against”(Lk 2:34).  He is crucified, but He rises to life.  The Crucified One remains to some a stumbling block; to others, foolishness  (1 Cor 1:23).  Some scoff upon hearing of the Resurrected One (Acts 17:32); others slander Him (Matt 28: 11-15); but He reigns in the hearts of the faithful.

We, the faithful, enjoy a foretaste of the Resurrection.  We live in the Resurrection, not fearing the physical death of the body because we believe in the Resurrection of Christ and human beings.  We experience it as a reality through our fellowship with the Saints who, although they died according to human understanding, in reality live on and communicate with us and help us in our lives.

The shrill voice of fanaticism, however, which rang out then and which has been ringing out unceasingly ever since, continues to cry: “Crucify him, crucify him!”  The powerful ones of this world, who answered such cries with cowardice and denial of responsibility, continue to reply: “Take him yourselves and crucify him” (John, 19:6).

Life is risen! Christ is Risen!  And we bear witness to His Resurrection not only by offering rational arguments and proofs but rather by living our lives in accordance with the Resurrection.  Only then does our witness become credible, when the Resurrected Christ lives within us, when our entire being radiates the joy, certainty and peace of the Resurrection.

Certainly, our lives and the life of our natural environment remain threatened by death.  We do not mean here decay and deterioration in the biological sense, but rather those types of death and destruction brought about suddenly, in cruel and violent ways; ways that challenge our conscience, trivialize the human person, and mangle the beauty of nature.

We mean, among other things, that death which puts an end to human life before it even has the chance to see the light of the sun.

We mean those countless children, who lose their lives because of poverty, hunger, the lack of even the most basic medicine, the cruelty of those who have the power to do but who do not do what is necessary to save these children, the impudence of the exploiters and corrupters of children’s innocence.

We mean the victims of daily acts of violence, of religious, nationalistic, and racial clashes, as well as the victims of fanaticism and war.  Such acts are callously and uncaringly carried out by those who turn deaf ears to humanity’s call for the end of hostilities and the establishment of peace throughout the world.

Finally, we mean the plundering of the natural environment by human beings who, driven by greed and the lust for profit, violently and cunningly subordinate and exploit it.  Such conduct not only distorts the beauty of creation given by its Creator but also undermines the foundations and conditions necessary for the survival of future generations.

We mean, in short, those types of life that bear signs of death, be they spiritual or moral, the consequences of disordered passions and errors, deprivation or greed, the trivialization and oppression of life.

Beloved brothers and children in the Lord,

We worship once again this year the Holy Passion of our Savior Jesus Christ.  We know that the teaching about His death on the cross remains foolishness for those who remain unbelieving and who go the way of destruction. It is, however, the power of God for us who walk in faith the way of salvation (1 Cor 1:18) in the brilliant light of the Resurrection.

In this power and joy of the Resurrection of Christ, we respect the life of our fellow human beings.  We call for an end to the killing of one another, and we denounce the violence and fanaticism that threatens life. The victory of the Resurrection must be experienced as a victory of life, of brotherhood, of the future, of hope.  

“Christ is Risen, and life reigns.
To Him be glory and dominion unto the ages of ages."

Holy Pascha 2006
â€Â  Bartholomew of Constantinople
your fervent  intercessor of all  before Risen Christ
_________________________________________________________________________

+ 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

«Ἡ Ζωή πῶς θνήσκεις; Πῶς καί τάφῳ οἰκεῖς;».

Ἀδελφοί συλλειτουργοί καί τέκνα εὐσεβá¿â€  ÃƒÆ’ŽÂºÃŽÂ±Ã¡Â½Â· φιλόθεα Ï„á¿â€ Ï‚ Ἐκκλησίας,

Πᾶσα φύσις ἀπορεῖ καί ἐξίσταται: Ὁ χορός τῶν Ἀγγέλων. Ἡ πληθύς τῶν ἀνθρώπων. Ἅπασα ἡ κτίσις ἐν φόβῳ καί τρόμῳ ἵσταται ἐνώπιον τοῦ μεγάλου καί ἀφάτου Μυστηρίου τῶν Ἁγίων Παθῶν καί τῆς λαμπροφόρου Ἀναστάσεως τοῦ Σωτῆρος Χριστοῦ. Καί διερωτᾶται: Πῶς εἶναι δυνατόν νά ἀποθνήσκῃ ἡ Ζωή, ἡ ὄντως Ζωή, ἡ Αὐτοζωή, ἡ πηγή τῆς Ζωῆς; Πῶς ἠμπορεῖ νά εἶναι ὁ τάφος κατοικητήριον τῆς Ζωῆς; Ἐκείνου δηλαδή, τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, ὁ Ὁποῖος εἶπεν: «Ἐγώ εἰμι ... ἡ ζωή» (Ἰωάν. 14,6); Ἡ ἀπάντησις ἐδόθη διά τῆς Ἀναστάσεως.

Πολλά ἀπό τά ἐρωτήματα τῶν χρόνων ἐκείνων παραμένουν. Ὅ,τι ἐγένετο ἐφ᾿ ἅπαξ τότε, ἐπαναλαμβάνεται ἔκτοτε διηνεκῶς καί ἀδιαλείπτως. Τό Μυστήριον συνεχίζεται. Ἡ ἀπορία ὁμοίως. Σημεῖον ἀντιλεγόμενον καί σήμερον διά πολλούς ὁ Χριστός (Λουκ. 2,34). Σταυροῦται, ἀλλά καί ἀνίσταται. Σκάνδαλον ὁ Ἐσταυρωμένος διά μερικούς, μωρία δι᾿ ἄλλους (Α´ Κορ. 1,23). Χλευάζεται ὑπό τινων ὁ ἐκ νεκρῶν Ἀναστάς (Πράξ. 17,32), συκοφαντεῖται ὑπό ἑτέρων (Ματθ. 28, 11-15), ἀλλά βασιλεύει εἰς τάς καρδίας τῶν πιστῶν.

Οἱ πιστοί προγευόμεθα τήν Ἀνάστασιν, ζῶμεν ἀναστάσιμα, δέν φοβούμεθα τόν φυσικόν θάνατον τοῦ σώματος, διότι πιστεύομεν εἰς τήν Ἀνάστασιν τοῦ Χριστοῦ καί τῶν ἀνθρώπων, βλέπομεν δέ αὐτήν ὡς γεγονός μαρτυρούμενον ἀπό τήν συναναστροφήν μας μετά τῶν Ἁγίων, οἱ ὁποῖοι, ἄν καί κατά τήν ἀνθρωπίνην ἀντίληψιν ἀπέθανοÃÆ
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« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2006, 12:12:12 PM »

Easter Message 2006

by H.H. Pope Shenouda III

My beloved children in the lands of immigration, Priests and congregation. I congratulate you all for the Feast of Resurrection, wishing you all on this Feast peace and edification, with all goodness and blessing. I always love to hear good news about you regarding your spiritual growth and active service in the church, and building the Kingdom of God on earth.

Live in the joy of the Resurrection, for the Resurrection is joy in all aspects.

We rejoice firstly in the Resurrection of Christ, for by His resurrection, He trampled upon death and became "the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep." That is, the First in the procession of those who rise from death in all generations. And just as He rose, we will also rise and be victorious over death in the Resurrection.

We also rejoice in the Resurrection, for in it we will have spiritual heavenly bodies according to the saying of Saint Paul the Apostle in his First Epistle to the Corinthians chapter 15 verses 44 and 49. Lusts and desires will not have authority over these bodies, nor sickness or weakness. Neither materialism nor earthly gravitation will have authority over them, for if the earthly gravitation had authority over them, they will fall from heaven to earth!

And we rejoice in the Resurrection, for we shall meet all of our relatives, our loved ones and our friends who have been separated from us and preceded us to heaven.

We will greatly rejoice in the Resurrection even more because of the company of Angels and Saints in the coming age. Indeed it is a great delight without any doubt, that the person enjoys knowing all the prophets and apostles whose names were written in the Holy Bible and to know personally all the martyrs in all the ages, all the Saintly fathers and all the righteous shepherds, and all those who have been characterized with deep virtues that distinguished their lives from others. The person will also know the heroes of faith, and the heroes of history who lived a righteous life as well as all the desert fathers and all the examples of virtue over all the ages.

We rejoice in the Resurrection for it is the start of entering into the eternal delight and into immortality. No one will enjoy this except those who overcome, according to the promise of the Lord to them in the Book of Revelation (Revelation Chapters 2 and 3). When we talk about this joy, we find that language falls short of expression, understanding is also limited, and experience is non existent for its hour has not yet come. The saying of the Bible about this eternal joy is sufficient “…eye has not seen nor ear heard nor have entered into the hearts of man the things which God has prepared for those who love him.” (I Corinthians 2:9) No matter what crosses your mind of explanations, these cannot express sufficiently this truth. For what God has prepared for the righteous cannot ever be comprehended by the mind of a person…

And we rejoice in the Resurrection, for in it we shall live with God Himself, according to His faithful promise "…that where I am there you may be also." (John 14:3) We shall live with Him in eternity, in the heavenly Jerusalem, about which, the Book of Revelation says that it is "… the tabernacle of God with men … God Himself will be with them…" (Revelation 21:3) What a great delight is that which Saint Paul the Apostle said, "…thus we shall always be with the Lord." (I Thessalonians 4:17)

Then knowledge of God the Father will be deepened, as our Lord Jesus Christ said to Him "and this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God." (John 17:3) And as Paul the Apostle said about knowing Him "face to face…" (I Corinthians 13:12)

Finally, my beloved children, I leave you in goodness and be well in the Lord, and absolved from His Holy Spirit.

Shenouda III

Pope of Alexandria

Patriarch of the See of St. Mark
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If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
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« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2006, 09:07:03 AM »

You guys are never gona believe this.  In the Serbian Orthodox Church web-site there is a VIDEO of a bishop reading the encyclical, so you can hear it read to you!!!!!   I didn't even know we had that kind of technology.... Grin

THE SERBIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH TO HER SPIRITUAL CHILDREN AT PASCHA, 2006

P A V L E

By the grace of God

Orthodox Archbishop of Pec, Metropolitan of Belgrade-Karlovci and Serbian Patriarch, with all the Hierarchs of the Serbian Orthodox Church—to all the clergy, monastics, and all the sons and daughters of our holy Church: grace, mercy and peace from God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, with the joyous paschal greeting:

CHRIST IS RISEN!

“Let the heavens rejoice,
and let the earth be glad.
Let the whole world,
visible and invisible,
keep the feast.
 For Christ is risen, our eternal joy.”
(Pascha hymn, Ode I)

     The Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead is the main event in the salvation of mankind. With His Resurrection from the tomb, the Savior proclaimed victory over death — the last enemy of all people.
     The Lord, the Lover of mankind, Who for our sake accepted the crucifixion and death, made us partakers of His victory over death. The human nature in the God-man Christ received death, but that same nature resurrected and brought victory over death. That victory, which the Lord accomplished in the body, brought freedom from death to all people; the freedom in which we rejoice even here and now through the Resurrection of our Savior.
     The Lord Jesus Christ underwent death in His body so that with the victory over death and annihilation of decay, the power of resurrection could pass on to the human race. Through the first man, our forefather Adam, because of sin and the Fall, we inherited condemnation and death. But in the new Adam, our Lord Jesus Christ, we have inherited resurrection. Thus we commune in His Glory and partake of His unending Kingdom. Because the Savior was truly glorified through the Crucifixion and Resurrection, we openly testify that on the Cross in His human nature He truly suffered and died, for His redeeming work was crowned with a glory worthy of God.  
     So why did God allow death, as Adam’s legacy, to still exist in this world? — People still die, but not as those condemned, nor for eternity, but for a finite time, so that they might receive a better resurrection. The God-man Christ is the first-born of the dead, and all people follow after Him as the First-born, because through His resurrection He has enlivened all of human nature. About this the Lord Himself testifies: “The hour is coming, and now is when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live…. And [they will] come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.” (John 5:25, 29)
     The Resurrection event has such great significance for the entire universe that we call it a new creation. It caused change within all worlds, because from it begins the renewal of things. With it, the earth and the heaven are renewed and the Lord’s word is fulfilled: “Behold, I make all things new.” (Rev. 21:5) The resurrection has a special meaning for the spiritual life of Christians, for all who believe in Christ rise with Him into new life and offer their physical and spiritual being to God as those brought from death to life. (Rom. 6:13)  We therefore elevate our thoughts today above earthly worries, as the Holy Apostle Paul says: “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” (Col. 3:1-2)
Everything which Christ said and did in accomplishing our salvation receives its full meaning in the Resurrection, but most especially suffering and death. Through the resurrection the wooden cross of the crucifixion became a symbol of victory and glory, and the mortal wounds of our Lord became fountains of healing through which we receive eternal life, knowledge of God, and the love for mankind of our resurrected Savior. This is why all God-pleasing efforts of the faithful, most especially holy service to God and for the salvation of our loved ones, and all expressions of  Gospel piety, find their significance in the resurrection of our Lord.
     The resurrection of Christ was called Pascha even in the old days. The Old Testament Pascha, the main Feastday of the chosen people of God, points to the New Testement Pascha, new and eternal, in both name and essence. Pascha means to pass over,and the Church on Pascha glorifies Christ, by whose Resurrection we pass from death to life, and from earth to heaven. The Old Testament Pascha celebrated the temporal deliverance from death of a small nation under the leadership of the prophet Moses, while the New Testament Pascha offers eternal deliverance to all believing peoples through all generations. According to the law of Moses, the Paschal meal was prepared with lamb. Christ’s Pascha means that the Lamb of God voluntarily sacrificed and offered Himself as food to the faithful. That is why St. Paul the apostle, advising us to boldly approach the paschal banquet table and the “throne of grace” (Heb. 4:16) said: “For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.” (1 Cor. 5:7) The celebration of the New Testament Pascha of the Cross and Resurrection is established in the Mystery of Lord’s Body and Blood, which builds the Divine-human community and the unity of the faithful: “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread.” (1 Cor. 10:16-17)
     The resurrection of Christ is the Feast of Feasts because it most deeply expresses the Church’s life. Not just today, but every Sunday of the year as the day of resurrection, gathers together the faithful in the Church, in the community of the Lord’s Banquet.
     We experience the resurrection of Christ, our dear spiritual children, as the manifestation of the eternal light which enlightens not only people’s souls but the whole of creation. “Today everything is filled with light, the heaven, earth and things below,” we sing in the resurrectional hymn. The first week after the Resurrection is permeated with light, and this is why it is called Bright Week: it is entirely filled with the glory of Resurrection and therefore it is celebrated as one day. This eternal light is, through the living body of the Church, passed on to the life of us all, to our thoughts and deeds, so that we live with a new life.
     On this radiant Feast, we wholeheartedly offer our thanks to the Lord Who in these stormy times has revealed Himself as the Way, the Truth, and the Life, to our young generations. We especially rejoice in seeing that our young ones, through the glorified body of Christ and His Church, are finding joy and the imperishable essence of a new and eternal life.
     At the same time, we are deeply aware of the painful truth of the modern world that the young ones, in great numbers, are becoming victims of narcotics, false saviors and teachings harmful to the soul. This kind of life deprives them of a happy youth and the joy of life. Worst of all is the continuation of child-killing (abortion), as well as mindless attacks on the sanctity of family life and community. The worrisome spiritual and moral crisis and biological perishing of almost all Christian nations — and among them, unfortunately, our own Serbian people — are not only consequences of economic insecurity and societal disarray, but stem above all from estrangement from the God of love and from the Church, which by the grace of the Holy Spirit establishes and exemplifies eternal communion among people. Truthfully sharing all temptations and suffering with our people in these Bright Paschal days, we pass on to all of you the angelic greeting from the tomb of the Resurrected Christ: “Rejoice!” With His resurrectional light, the Lord enlightens even those who have wandered away into the darkness of spiritual gloom. He gives life and joy to all the saddened, forsaken and sinners through repentance, faith, hope and love—through their joyous return to the maternal embrace of the Church.
In these days of the Cross and Resurrection we most deeply co-suffer with our brothers and sisters in Kosovo and Metohija. They through the centuries, but most especially in the last few years, have gone through and continue to go through thorny sufferings and daily crucifixions, awaiting with uncertainty the political decisions on which their and their children’s future will depend. To them we, in the spirit of the Gospel, send the message that after crucifixion comes resurrection, and that there is no joy of new life without the tomb from which dawns life in Jesus Christ. We call upon them to be faithful to the tradition of the Holy Tsar Lazar and stay in their homeland regardless of the threats of those blinded by hatred. Kosovo and Metohija is the land of the oath by which the Serbian people bound themselves to Christ and entered into the priestly community of the People of God. We pray to God for a quick granting of His peace to the suffering Kosovo and Metohija through mutual understanding by the Serbian and Albanian communities, employing agreed declarations that guarantee life, peace, liberty, and dignity to all people.
     We express our joy and thanks to our Resurrected Lord for the release of His Beatitude Archbishop of Ohrid and Metropolitan of Skoplje Jovan from a dark prison cell. Most especially we rejoice that he voluntarily accepted this humiliation for Christ and truthfully endured it, sacrificing himself to help overcome a ghastly schism between brothers of faith. With hope and patience, we call upon our brothers in schism to put the unity of the Church above all earthly goals. We hope that they will come out of the dungeon of the schism into the light of canonical and Eucharistic unity of the Church in Resurrected Christ, the Victorious One over death and every division.
     With fatherly love we call upon our Orthodox brothers and sisters in Montenegro, and on all people of good will, to preserve mutual peace and unity both before and after the forthcoming referendum. At the same time, we remind all that the Orthodox Faith safeguards and builds freedom for every person, and likewise promotes unity among peoples and nations. Freedom and human and brotherly good cannot be built anywhere, and especially in Njegos’ Montenegro, through pressure on people’s consciences, bribery, and threats; but through a free expression of will and with full responsibility for the future of one’s descendants.
     Dear spiritual children in the Diaspora, the joy of this Feast brings us together with you regardless of earthly distances. Always rejoice in your holy Church, because she deeply connects you with the heavenly and irreplaceable earthly homeland. Be good citizens of the countries in which you live, and faithful and active members of your Church. Cultivate your Serbian language! This is the language of your ancestors and the language of  Serbian culture and spirituality, but most of all, the language of our Liturgical worship.
     Witnessing in the joy of the Holy Orthodox Faith that nothing “can separate us from the love of God,” (Rom. 8:39) which eternally renews our imperishable communion; we congratulate you, dear spiritual children, on this Feast of Feasts, with the most joyous greeting:

CHRIST IS RISEN!
INDEED HE IS RISEN!

Given at the Serbian Patriarchate in Belgrade at Pascha 2006.
Your prayerful intercessors before the Crucified and Resurrected Lord:

Archbishop of Pec,
Metropolitan of Belgrade-Karlovci and
Serbian Patriarch PAVLE

I was gona put all the rest of the bishops, but that would have been showy... Shocked  Wink
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I forgot the maps
March 27th and May 30th 2010 were my Ordination dates, please forgive everything before that
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« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2006, 09:09:13 AM »

All I have to say is....hey you have it in Greek!   Tongue Tongue

О ВАСКРСУ 2006. ГОДИНЕ

П А В Л Е

ПО МИЛОСТИ БОЖЈОЈ

ПРАВОСЛАВНИ АРХИЕПИСКОП ПЕЋКИ, МИТРОПОЛИТ БЕОГРАДСКО-КАРЛОВАЧКИ И ПАТÐÂ ИЈАÐ Х СРПСКИ, СА СВИМА АРХИЈЕÐÂ ЕЈИМА СРПСКЕ ПРАВОСЛАВНЕ ЦРКВЕ, СВЕШТЕНСТВУ, МОНАШТВУ И СВИМА СИНОВИМА И КЋЕРИМА НАШЕ СВЕТЕ ЦРКВЕ: БЛАГОДАТ, МИЛОСТ И МИР ÃƒÆ’Å¾Ãâ€ БОГА ОЦА, И ГОСПОДА НАШЕГ ИСУСА ХРИСТА, И ДУХА СВЕТОГА, УЗ Ð АДОСНИ ВАСКРШÐÅ И ПОЗДРАВ:

ХРИСТОС ВАСКРСЕ!

“Нека се веселе небеса достојно,
и земља нека се данас радује,
и да празнују сви светови
видљиви и невидљиви,
јер Христос, вечна Радост наша,
устаде из мртвих.”
(Пасхална песма)

   ÃƒÆ’â€™ÃÂ°Ã‘ÐºÑ€ÑÐµÑšÐµ Господа Исуса Христа из мртвих јесте главни догађај спасења рода људскога. Својим Васкрсењем из гроба Спаситељ је објавио победу над смрћу — последњим непријатељем свих људи.
   ÃƒÆ’Â§ÃÂ¾ÃÂ²ÃÂµÃÂºÃÂ¾Ã‘™ÑƒÐ±Ð¸Ð²Ð¸ Господ, Који је ради нас људи примио Распеће и смрт, учинио нас је учесницима Своје победе над смрћу. Људска природа у Богочовеку Христу примила је смрт, али је иста та природа васкрсла и однела победу над смрћу. Та победа, коју је Господ извојевао у телу, донела је слободу од смрти свим људима. ÐÅ у већ овде уживамо кроз Васкрсење Спаситеља нашег.
   ÃƒÆ’â€œÃÂ¾Ã‘Ð¿Ð¾Ð´ Христос је Својим светим Телом окусио смрт да би се победом над смрћу и уништењем трулежности сила васкрсења пренела на сав људски род. Кроз првог човека, праоца Адама, због греха и пада, наследисмо проклетство и смрт, а у Новом Адаму, Господу Исусу Христу, наследисмо васкрсење. Тако заједничаримо у слави ÐÅ еговој, узимајући удела у ÐÅ еговом непролазном Царству. Због тога што се Спаситељ ваистину прославио Распећем и Васкрсењем, увек неизоставно сведочимо да је Он на Крсту, Својом људском природом, истински претрпео страдање и реалну смрт, јер је ÐÅ егово искупитељско дело крунисано славом која доликује Богу.
   ÃƒÆ’ÂÃÂ¾ зашто је Бог допустио да смрт, као наслеђе Адамово, још увек постоји у овоме свету? — Људи и даље умиру, али не више као осуђени, нити заувек,  ÃƒÆ’Â½ÃÂµÃÂ³ÃÂ¾ на извесно време, да би добили боље васкÃÆ
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« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2006, 07:41:30 PM »

From Metropolitan METHODIOS of Boston, GOA:
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METROPOLITAN METHODIOS’ PASCHAL MESSAGE

“The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it” (John. 1:5)

      I address you with the words of St. John the Evangelist as we approach the life-giving tomb to celebrate the Feast of Feasts, the Festival of all Festivals, the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Tonight the tomb, the dreaded cave of fear and captivity, is transformed into the Gate of Paradise. The horror of death is overcome with the joy of salvation. It is this eternal salvation that is the fruit of the Cross and the empty tomb. And it is this salvation of regeneration that is freely offered to all who desire to abide in the loving embrace of our life-giving Savior. As St. Paul writes in his letter to the Corinthians, “For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the Resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1 Corinth. 15:21-22).

      One of our Pascal hymns tonight declares that “we celebrate the death of death, the destruction of Hades, we enjoy the first fruit of another and endless life, and as we leap for joy, we praise the cause of the good gifts, the God of our Fathers. Blessed and glorified be He alone.” (8th ode of the Canon).

      Yes, my brothers and sisters, despite the ugliness which surrounds us, the continuing war in Iraq and Afghanistan, in Israel and Palestine, despite the continuing deprivation of religious freedom, of the human rights and dignity of the Ecumenical Patriarchate by the Turkish government, despite terrorism throughout the world, we Christians are heirs of the hope of salvation bequeathed to us as a result of the Resurrection. It is to this anchor of hope that we cling during these difficult times.

      The darkness of the inhumanity, the brutality and barbarity around us --- though oppressive --- cannot overcome the unwaning light of the Resurrection, the darkness cannot overcome the light of compassion, sensitivity and humanity that shine forth from the life and light-giving tomb. The darkness of divisiveness and contention cannot overcome the light of unity and harmony that shine forth in the Risen Lord. It cannot overcome the light of peace and creation which emanate from the empty tomb.

      My brothers and sisters, darkness hovers over our city, over our nation and over the entire the world. It shrouds the lives of individuals with fear, with guilt, with loneliness, with hatred, with addiction, with pain and resentment. Darkness permeates fragile marriages, dysfunctional families and broken friendships. It encircles the world in an endless cycle of violence. Darkness is another name for injustice; darkness is another name for racism, another name for hunger, another name for homelessness, another name for selfishness, another name for hopelessness. Darkness is the characteristic of the cultural war waged against the Church by morally bankrupt peddlers of fiction and ancient heretical teachings. My brothers and sisters, the DaVinci Code and the Gnostic Gospel of Judas are both futile attempts to discredit the person of Christ, to ridicule His Church, and to sow doubt in the hearts of believers.

      Tonight, people living in all types of darkness seek a life bathed in light and happiness.

      Those living in injustice seek the light of justice.

      Those living in pessimism seek the light of hope.

      Those suffering persecution seek the light of peace.

      Those living in fear seek the light of joy.

      Those living in captivity seek the light of freedom.

      All of us this midnight seek the golden dawn of our personal resurrection.

      And so, let us mystically accompany the myrrh bearing women to the tomb to “receive light from the unwaning light.” Let our hearts and souls be set ablaze that they may radiate, in turn, the love, the forgiveness, the peace, the justice and the joy, the new life that emanate from the life-giving tomb. Let the glow of the Resurrection penetrate the darkness, and transform it into the dawn of a brilliant day filled with the presence of our Resurrected Savior.
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« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2006, 12:31:21 AM »

Where I also used to live.

From Archbishop Gregorios of Thyateira and great Britain.

PASCHAL ENCYCLICAL OF H.E. THE ARCHBISHOP OF THYATEIRA AND GREAT BRITAIN

PASCHA 2006

"Christ said to them, 0 how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?" [Luke 24: 25-26]
 


Beloved brothers and sisters in the Lord, by God's grace we are celebrating once again the Lord's Resurrection from the Dead, and so I address you with the heartfelt Easter greeting: "Christ has risen from the dead!" and has vanquished death and decay and has granted the world the joy and hope of our own Resurrection and glory. We confirm the Easter greeting with the well-known response: "Truly the Lord has risen!", that He may be always among us, may re-form and renew humanity and all Creation. These days are thus characterised by the sensational events of the Passion and radiant Resurrection of the Lord. Spiritually and mystically, we Christians have gone with Him to His Passion and, therefore, we participate also in the joy and glory of His Resurrecion. The holy Evangelists and, with them, the whole Church, militant and triumphant, have become a witness and sharer of those sacred Events, which the holy Evangelist Luke describes so eloquently in the account of the journey of the two disciples (Luke and Cleopas) to Emmaus. Christ approached them without them realising that it was Jesus [Luke 24: 15-16], and "while they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them." Cleopas spoke of the sorrow and misery that had overcome them because of the events which had taken place during the week of Christ's Passion.

The Risen Christ brought to the attention of the troubled disciples that the Events of the Passion and Resurrection constitute the height of God's love to humanity. Christ "humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death - even death on a cross" IPhiL 2:8], that he may enter, glorified and victorious, into Heaven. Therefore, the Events of these days are not just events that we remember and honour through the worship of the Risen Christ, but events of immense joy that will ever inspire, move, encourage and renew human beings and raise them up from lowliness to exaltation. These are days to remember the sick, the ill-treated, the vulnerable, those at war, the elderly, the poor and our brothers and sisters who are in need. These are days to remember those who are in prison and all our brethren who are found in want and all those who are marginalized by society. These are days to remember the orphans and the widows, the hungry and all those who have lost their loved ones and their hope, 'who have no hope' for the value and sanctity of life. It is only the hope of the Resurrection that can give encouragement and strenth to all of these people; only the hope of the Resurrection that can spiritually raise them, give them hope for a better, more just, freer, more human world; and give them faith and the expectation of a community of love and human kindness. And so, each time we celebrate these Events, we ought to consider them and delve into the mystery of Divine Love and teach ourselves and one another to imitate Christ. Let us instruct the younger generations to immerse themselves with wisdom and piety in the mystery of the Resurrection, to learn to entrus t their lives to God and to share their good things with others, to be first in the sacred race of virtue, as Christ proclaims in His Passion and Resurrection, and as the Apostles and Martyrs and all the Saints of God from that day until today have lived.


We Orthodox (like all Christians) in this country, have the privilege to freely celebrate Holy Week and Holy Pascha and bring to the streets of London and other cities in the D.K the Tradition of Orthodoxy with the sacred procession of the Epitaphios. With due piety, we chant the Lamentations of Holy and Great Friday evening and we thereby proclame the Faith to others. Unfortunately, in many parts of the world, Christians are still restricted to freely express their Faith. The Resurrection of Christ reminds us yet again of the great gift of freedom, of religious tolerance and respect for human rights and dignity, for which Christ ascended the Cross and was put to death with the thieves like a criminal two thousand years' ago.
 

As I bring this Paschal message to a close, I impart the warm and heartfelt greeting of love and deep respect to the Fullness of this Sacred and Biblical Eparchy of the Oecumenical Throne of Constantinople and, as your father- in-God, I urge you all to celebrate the Feast in peace and joy and to "forgive all things on the Resurrection". Let us guard the Faith and the Message of the Resurrection as the apple of our eye, and let us keep lit the flame of the Orthodox Faith and Orthodox Practice. We are thus obliged to take first place in performing good works and charity. With active love, let us protect our sacred churches and our schools, which Orthodox Christianity has established with piety and generosity in this hospitable country. I am also glad and obliged to remind you that this year we celebrate 100 years since a few Greek immigrants set up the Church in Cardiff, capital of Wales, and dedicated it to our holy father among the saints, Nicholas the Wonderworker, Bishop of Myra, Lycia. It is fitting that the local Community of Cardiff is preparing to honour this significant event with grand celebrations. The existence of Orthodox churches, such as that of St Nicholas and so many others, in the United Kingdom are a blessing for the country which welcomes them and a sacred boast for all pious and Orthodox Christians who founded them, built them, furnished them and maintain them. They are an example to us all, inspiring us, instructing us and reminding us of our own free giving and obligation to maintain and protect with wisdom and generosity these sacred buildings which constitute an immortal witness to Christ's Resurrection and His presence among us. This is the only way that we can truly celebrate with God's blessing, and wait and hope that we will always have the love and Joy of Christ our Saviour. To Him be glory and might
to the ages

+Gregorios, Archbishop of Thyateira & Great Britain

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