Paschal Message of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia to the archpastors, pastors, deacons, monastics and all faithful children of the Russian Orthodox Church

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Eminent fellow archpastors,

reverend pastors and deacons,

all-honourable monks and nuns, dear brothers and sisters,


Addressing you with these life-asserting words, I extend to all of you my heartfelt greetings on the great and world-saving feast of Pascha. On this chosen and holy day so overwhelming is our spiritual joy and profound gratitude to God and so distinct is the feeling of the might and depth of the Creator’s love for human beings that, when trying to express our emotions, we can hardly find other words than those of the myrrh-bearing women who ran to the apostles to tell them about the miraculous event – that they had seen the Lord.

One can only imagine how hard it was for the Saviour’s disciples to believe in the reality of His Resurrectionю It was not long ago that they had seen their beloved Teacher being tortured and crucified. Still fresh in their minds were the memories of how His dead and lifeless Body had been laid in the tomb, with a heavy stone rolled to its door. And now sorrow gives place to the firmness of faith and the triumph of life, and tears of affliction turn into tears of joy.

What a marvellous change! What a great sign of God’s might! The tomb is open and empty. The burial shroud is thrown aside, and the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head is rolled up in a place by itself. Indeed, the Lord is risen and tells His disciples to place their fingers in the deep marks of the spear and nails, so that they finally may cast away even the slightest doubts that it is He Himself (cf. Lk. 24:39).

Experiencing the real communion with the Risen Christ and the unfading Paschal joy inspired and lent wings to the apostles who went to the ends of the earth to preach the forgiveness of sins and salvation which we received through the Lord Jesus risen from the tomb. Unafraid of adversities and severe persecutions, suffering hardships and tribulations, the apostles tirelessly and bravely bore witness to Christ the Vanquisher of death.

God fulfilled the promise He had given to people in ancient times: I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death (Hos. 13:14). And in the light of Easter morning we rejoice with St. Paul that death is swallowed up in victory (1 Cor. 15:54)! From now on, nothing shall be able to separate us from the love of God (Rom. 8:39), for the deadly effect of sin is brought to naught by the power of the Risen Lord. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the firstborn from the dead (Col. 1:18), reveals to us the true riches of God’s grace – the radiance of eternal life with God and in God, when, according to the prophetic words of the Apostle, God may be all in all (1 Cor. 15:28).

For two thousand years now, the Church has been living in the unfading joy of the Resurrection, striving to make every man that cometh into the world (Jn. 1:9) a partaker of this joy. In the light of Pascha everything is different: we are not afraid of any mundane sorrows, afflictions and worldly troubles, and even difficult circumstances of these troubled times do not seem so important in the perspective of eternity granted unto us.

St. Ephraim the Syrian had a remarkable thought that during the creation the Lord had put into the depths of man the entire Heavenly Kingdom which only waits for us to discover it like a precious pearl. The Kingdom is written in the soul and placed therein as a dowry, in order that, when the Heir of the Kingdom comes, He may take it with Him into the bridal chamber (Commentary on “Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth…”). And this Heir – Christ – did come and rise from the dead, saving people from sins and giving us power to become the sons of God (Jn. 1:12), that we may walk before the Lord in holiness and truth, live in chastity, worthy to be called Christians, and be the salt of the earth,.. the light of the world (Mt. 5:13-14).

To bear witness to the Risen Saviour, we do not have to go somewhere far, like the apostles did, who spread the marvellous Paschal light all over the world. Many people around us are in need of a living model of Christian faith working through love (Gal. 5:6). God does not demand of us some heroic deeds that are beyond our strength. He just asks us to show love to one another, to remember that by doing so we also show love to Him. A kind smile, attention and sympathy to those who are near, as well as timely words of consolation and support can become our most important deeds for the sake of our Lord.

Greeting all of you on the feast of Pascha, I invoke upon you the blessing of the Risen Christ and wish you, my dears, the inexhaustible radiant Easter joy that strengthens us in faith, hope and love. God willing, may this light never fade in our hearts, always shining in the world (cf. Mt. 5:14). And may we, illumined by the word of God, by reading the Gospel, and partaking of the Divine grace in the Sacraments of the Church, grow steadily in the knowledge of the Lord and in fulfilling His commandments, so that people, seeing our good works, glorify our Father which is in heaven (cf. Mt. 5:16) and join us in joyfully proclaiming that



Pascha of Christ,

James5/2/2022 11:02 pm
Midwest: Yes, that's an easy way out for you--just forgive the poor Nazis... while they slaughter innocent people because of their insane ideology. They have to first be stopped, brought to trial and punished--and then forgiven. But are you the one to say that God has forgiven them? You have quite a strange approach. Yes, according to you, we should just let anarchy and mayhem take over, because "we are Christians and must forgive". But there is also God's law, reflected in the laws that govern society. And it is also our Christian duty to protect the vulnerable.
Midwest5/2/2022 10:19 pm
James: You are right, we have no right to judge. However, we must recognize that when we continue to use the word "Nazi" in all directions, it means that we are totally unable to forgive. We did not forgive the First World War, we did not forgive the Second World War. We did not forgive the initiators of Dombass in 2014. In reality we do not know how to forgive and we are unable to do so. At this stage, I would say, let's stop this conversation and instead let's meditate on the beautiful message from Metropolitan Onuphry one week ago: Metropolitan Onuphry: The World Is Changed by Each Person Individually (If we do not change ourselves for the better, but reproach each other, the world will go downhill into the abyss of evil.) April 25, 2022
James5/2/2022 9:32 am
Midwest: I don't know how much you know about the situation on the ground, but I still suspect, very little. This is based on your ridiculous statement about the Gulag and Stalinist crimes--as if there were no Ukrainians involved as executioners, torturers, etc. And you seem to know nothing about the Ukrainian Nazi collaborationists, who surpassed the Germans in their sadism. And that their descendants have been tormenting people in Donbass for eight years. Don't give me that--you either know nothing or you are pretending to know nothing. And where were the statements of the bishops in the US, when all this was happening in Donbass? I repeat, you have no right to judge. Our Lord condemned hypocrisy, and told us not to judge lest we be judged.
Midwest5/2/2022 5:33 am
James: Your judgment of my level of information is very hasty. Contrary to what you seem to think, I happen to be very well informed about the real situation on the ground in the Ukraine, and that is why I have this view. Nothing, absolutely nothing justified since 2014 and still today in 2022 for Russia to aggress in this way against the brotherly Ukrainian people. James, I said NOTHING. I maintain what I said: a public stand by Patriarch Cyril in front of his friend Vladimir Putin to ask for an end to the war would have been most desirable. The Patriarch did not wish to do so, as he did not want to express any public opposition to Vladimir Putin, which is a great pity. Despite the Patriarch's heartbreaking silence, may our prayers for the time being continue to accompany all those inflicted by this unjust war initiated by Russia. Let us continue to pray for all the victims in Ukraine of this unjust war initiated by Russia.
James4/29/2022 8:50 pm
Midwest: Don't forget--the Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union, and had it's own share in everything you mentioned. I'm telling you that you know very little about the whole situation, and therefore you have no right to judge Patriarch Kirill. If you get all your information from the American media, well, you will remain uninformed.
Midwest4/29/2022 5:46 pm
James: thank you for your message. I find it difficult to say who is brainwashed. The big problem even before 2014 is indeed that the Russian regime will not be able to change in reality until it has done the work of the truth about the millions of deaths in the Gulag and the Stalinist crimes. Without this truth, Vladimir Putin will maintain the culture of amnesia and oblivion, as he has done for more than 15 years, by adding propaganda. The war in Ukraine led by Russia since 2014 will indeed only end when President Mr. Vladimir Putin demands his Nuremberg trial for Russia. Thank you James for thinking about this.
James4/29/2022 8:12 am
Midwest: Have you stopped to think about the fact that this war began eight years ago, when the Ukrainian nazis began their genocidal war against the Russian population in Donbass? That just perhaps Putin needed to step in and save them--in fact to prevent the same actions against Russia? Don't the Russians have a right to defend themselves? You are brainwashed.
Midwest4/29/2022 5:35 am
After more than two months of Russia's war against Ukraine, it is totally despairing that Patriarch Kiryll is still unwilling to publicly condemn the war before Mr. Putin. However, one can easily think that this strong gesture of public condemnation by Patriarch Kiryll in front of Vladimir Putin would have borne fruit and shown the world the courage of the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church. As long as this gesture does not come, the war will last, it is quite obvious. As long as a public gesture from Patriarch Kiryll to stop the war is not attempted in front of President Putin and shown to the world, then it is a blessing for Vladimir Putin to continue to act as he pleases to kill so many innocent Ukrainians and Russians in Ukraine. It will take many, many generations for the Russian Orthodox Church to recover from such behavior from his Patriarch. What deep sadness.
ABMichael A4/26/2022 1:19 am
I have tremendous respect for the Patriarch Kyrill who has done so much in his years as head of the worldwide Orthodox but absolutely no respect for kyrill the political man grasping with Putin for czarist days
Ioann4/25/2022 6:34 pm
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” — Gospel of St. John Chapter 10. Christos Voskrese!
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