CHRIST IS RISEN! INDEED HE IS RISEN! – this greeting resounded in this bright night at the Nativity of the Lord Cathedral in Chisinau during the Divine Liturgy celebrated by the first hierarch of the Moldovan Orthodox Church Metropolitan Vladimir.
The hierarch was assisted at the service by archpriest Vadim Cheibas, Metropolitan Secretary and Cathedral Dean, and the priests and deacons of the holy place. Hundreds of church-goers greeted and responded to the Paschal greetings in the Cathedral.
Liturgical responses were provided by the Cathedral’s choir directed by Angela Angheni.
After the Liturgy, the Paschal Message of Metropolitan Vladimir was read out:
“Now all things are filled with light: heaven and earth, and the nethermost regions. So let all creation celebrate the Resurrection of Christ, whereby it is established”
(from the Paschal Canon)
Your Eminences arch-pastors,
Righteous priests and deacons,
Reverend monastics, right-faithful Christians,
Christ is Risen!
In this holy night replenished with divine light, the Church calls us all, bringing us the liturgical Gospel: “O come all you faithful, let us worship Christ’s holy Resurrection. For behold, through the Cross joy has come to all the world” (from the Service of the Resurrection).
In hard times marked by temptations and calamities, every person in part and the entire humanity in general is waiting for the good news. For believers, the most waited news is the one of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, that neither loses, nor diminishes its meaning, passing through the tragic history over centuries. On the contrary, it reaffirms and becomes even more actual, bringing new breath of hope and courage for Christians in all times, just like it did to the first disciples and apostles. The Paschal news is remarked as God’s response to the human hope.
The Risen Christ is the Life, and this truth is witnessed by the Saviour Himself, Who reassures Martha, the sister of risen Lazarus: “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11: 25). He is always present, and His Life is the food that gives spiritual power to all those who believe in Him and confess His Resurrection. Denying themselves, they follow Christ and take up their Cross; they are not weakened by the burden of tragedies across human history, but are inspired by the hope of rising in Christ.
The Feast of the Resurrection is the most appropriate moment to meet Christ Who bears victory over death. The authentic paschal joy is in everyone’s meeting with the Risen Christ. This is what the Gospels confess and teach us, and this is what was felt by all Lord’s disciples, by the myrrh-bearing women, by the two travellers to Emmaus who discovered a friend and co-traveller in the Risen Christ – Who warmed their hearts and opened their eyes for the seeing of His presence in the liturgical bread breaking.
Liturgy is most prominently the place and way of meeting with the Risen Christ.
This is why, my dear, I parentally call all of you – clergy and laity of the Orthodox Church of Moldova, as limbs of the Lord’s Body, members of the One, Holy, Universal and Apostolic Church, whether within the country or abroad – let us always reunite in our communities and participate in the Divine Liturgy, partaking in His Holy Body and Blood and becoming thus the vessels of His presence.
The right-faithful people of the Lord,
On the Sunday of the Holy Resurrection nobody should remain sad and lonely. That is why, let us go from the very morning and bring the good news and joy of the Holiday to everybody, offering with generosity from the “dinner of faith”.
Let us forgive everything for the sake of the Resurrection, and let us call brothers all those who hate us, bringing thus to life the greatest commandment of love.
Let the Resurrection of the Lord and our God cast light and joy, peace and reconciliation over the entire humanity, for these are necessary, wanted, and waited now as never by the tormented Orthodox people.
In this “chosen and holy day”, let us be the bearers and apostles of the Resurrection, all of us saying: “Thy Resurrection, O Christ the Saviour, angels in heaven sing, vouchsafe us with pure hearts to glorify Thee!”
Indeed Christ is Risen!
Metropolitan of Chisinau and all Moldova
Synodal Sector of Institutional Communication and Mass-Media Relations