“He is risen; He is not here:
behold the place where they laid Him”
(Mark 16, 6)
Beloved in the Lord Your Graces the archpastors, All-reverend andAll-honourable presbyters and deacons, God-loving monks and nuns, dear brothers and sisters
CHRIST IS RISEN!
From every altar of our ancestral orthodox faith, beloved spiritual sons and daughters, in this night the eternal Light is lit with the same brightness, as in the great church of the Lord’s Tomb in Jerusalem. Every heart is brightened with the joy of Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. And everyone hears distinctly the words of the angel: “You seek Jesus of Nazareth Who was crucified? He is risen! He is not here. Behold the place where they laid Him!” (Mark 16, 6) – just like the zealous myrrh-bearing women who came “very early in the morning” to the empty tomb, and like the Holy Apostles whom they later announced. All those who saw Lord Jesus risen and who listened to His words and teaching, were vested with power from above, to witness and announce His Resurrection. Together with all those who were dignified with being called with the name of Christ, we confirm now and for all ages, the mystery of Resurrection: “Christ Lord is risen indeed!”
Witnessing Him for centuries, the Holy Apostles and the Holy Fathers spread the truth of the Resurrection of Christ “unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1, 8). His Resurrection is the foundation of the immortalization of all of us. It is what we know, also from the words of the Holy Apostle Paul: “He which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you” ( 2 Corinthians 4, 14).
Beloved in Christ!
Our Orthodox church is, before all, a Church of the Resurrection, and the resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ, the greatest of the miracles that God made, is the core of theology, of the Christian cult and of our hearts. For Orthodoxy, no other words bear more truth, than the ones the Holy Apostle Paul rendered from all his heart to Corinthians, with regard to the doubts that had affected some minds: “And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.” (1 Corinthians 15, 14).
The Resurrection of our Lord is the base of our own resurrection. This is the essence of the Holy Scripture, is the light that reveals all the pre-images of the Old Testament, opening our mind to understand the Scriptures (Luke 24, 25). Through resurrection, Jesus Christ is glorified with the glory that He had before the world was (John 17, 5).
The Resurrection of Christ re-establishes for us all, once and forever, all that was affected by sin. This is explained by the fact that our Lord Jesus Christ, being “the first begotten of the dead” (Revelation 1, 5), is also the first-fruits of our resurrection (1 Corinthians 15, 20). This is why we celebrate the Pascha of the Resurrection as the highest joy, this is why we revere the Holy Sunday – the Day of the Lord – as the Day of Resurrection. We live again the resurrection, with the trembling of the restoration, every year and at every Divine Liturgy. Through all the due service and through its mystery, this restoration reestablishes for us the direct relation to the history of our salvation, getting us close to the most significant moments of the embodiment and work of the Son of God in the world. Above all these, the Resurrection is the peak of the divine signs and the spring of life.
With faith and love, celebrate and rejoice in this holy day of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ! His love for us is shown in the paschal sermon of Saint John Chrysostom: “The table is full-laden; feast ye all sumptuously… Let no one go hungry away. Enjoy ye all the feast of faith: Receive ye all the riches of loving-kindness.”
In these bright days of the great feast of the Resurrection of the Lord, I wish you heartily to have peace and joy, love and kindness for those around you.
Let your families be protected by Christ our Lord, the One Who rose on the third day from the dead, and we, all of us alike, hierarchs, priests, and lay believers, love His right-faithful Church, proving to be true sons and daughters of the Holy Orthodoxy.
Wishing you all to fully enjoy the gifts of the Holy Resurrection, I render you the message of salvation of the Holy Pascha:
CHRIST IS RISEN!
HE IS RISEN INDEED!
By the mercy of Lord Jesus the One who rose from the dead,
+Vladimir, Metropolitan of Chisinau and All Moldova