“Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen. Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice. Christ is risen, and life reigns. Christ is risen, and not one dead man remains in the grave”
Let us become established in the faith in the Risen Lord at our challenging times, when it seems as if the evil and sin are winning over the good and the light again, when sin is portrayed as something lawful and natural for man.
Because, in the Resurrection, we have the inexhaustible spring of eternal joy, sacred hope, and the power of our Christian life.
His Beatitude Metropolitan Vladimir († July 5, 2014)
Paschal greeting by His Beatitude Metropolitan Vladimir, Metropolitan of Kiev and all Ukraine, the Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (2009)
Christ, having been raised
from the dead, dies no more.
Death no longer has dominion over Him.
Beloved in our Lord, Venerable Hierarchs, Reverend Clergy, Devout Monastics, and God-loving faithful—dear brothers and sisters!
Christ Is Risen!
On the day of the Bright Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, we heartily greet every God-loving Christian soul with the joyful kiss of peace!
Christ is risen from the dead, and His Tomb has since become the source of life.
He Who holds the power over life and death in His hands, Who is blameless and without sin, has accepted blasphemy and curse from the people and died on the Cross to redeem the human race from sin, the curse, and death. “In Christ,” says St. Ambrose of Milan, “the world, mankind has risen; in Him, the heavens have risen, in Him, the earth has risen.” With Christ’s sacrifice, sin, a chief cause of our misfortune, was destroyed, and man was created anew in the likeness of God. More than that, the Savior of the world made us partakers of the Glory of God, and man, who once rejected the love of the Father, was adopted by God.
That’s why, for everyone who believes in Him, Christ becomes the Prince of life (Acts 3:15), the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep (1 Corinthians 15:20), the last Adam became a life-giving spirit (1 Corinthians 15:45).
With Christ’s Resurrection, the sacred truth rose on earth again and all falsehood was put to shame. Long and painful were the years of the Old Testament anticipation of the coming of the Savior. But when the Lord Who is Truth finally arrived into this world, the world didn’t know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him (John 1:10–11). The Truth was insulted, tormented and nailed to the Cross. But Christ has risen, and with Him, all truth and virtue. Christ is risen—and He laid a foundation of a new life and new man. The Resurrection of Christ is an event of such magnitude that the Holy Apostle Paul points at it as the criteria for the validity of the Christian teaching: And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty (1 Corinthians 15:14).
For the sake of the redemption of mankind from the snares of death, the unspeakable love of the Heavenly Father towards the human race has sacrificed His Only Begotten Son, Who ushered in the resurrection to all of us for life in eternity and never-ending joy in the heavenly dwellings of our Heavenly Father. St. John Chrysostom in his Paschal Homily exclaims: “Let no one fear death, for the Savior's death has set us free. He that was held prisoner of it has annihilated it… By descending into Hell, He made Hell captive… Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in the grave…” Death is no longer without hope: for those who believe in Christ, it became a rest from the earthly labors and transition to another world—the world of light, goodness, and joy. The Savior’s words that everyone who believes in Him “will never die” are our guarantee of future resurrection in the flesh; and because of Christ’s Resurrection, it became natural and real. Even here, on earth, we have a chance to have a taste of immortality; for anyone who partakes of the Body and Blood of Christ in the Mystery of the Holy Eucharist, becomes a part of His Divine nature and an heir of all goodness of the age to come.
With the Savior’s Resurrection, man enters the heavenly realm not as a wanderer or stranger, but, according to the Holy Apostle Paul, we are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household (Ephesians 2:19). May we ascend, following Our Good Shepherd in the footsteps of His Resurrection, to the wondrous dwelling places of the Unfading Light, like the meek sheep of His spiritual flock.
May we place our faith in the Risen Lord at this challenging time, when it seems as if evil and sin are winning again over goodness and light, when the sin is portrayed as something lawful or natural for man. Because in the Resurrection we have the inexhaustible spring of eternal joy, sacred hope, and the power of our Christian life. Christ the Victorious, Who submitted Himself to death but rose again, is our inspiration and strength on the path of our life. The Lord expects from us that we will use our temporal life as the time of preparation for the eternal life, so that we forsake the vanities and evils of the world. The apostle also calls us to do this: the time is short, so… those who buy as though they did not possess and those who use this world as not misusing it. For the form of this world is passing away (1 Cor. 7:29–32). Therefore, let us labor to add to the spiritual riches and the peace of Christ in our souls and our families, let us increase in our love of neighbor while preserving ourselves in purity and humility.
On this radiant Feast of the Risen Christ, the day that has brought salvation to mankind, when the Sun of Righteousness arose and everything around was filled with joy and jubilation, on “this day which the Lord has made,” let us victoriously exclaim: “Christ Is Risen! Truly He Is Risen!” Let us rejoice with the whole creation, visible and invisible, “For Christ our eternal joy has risen!”
May the Lord bestow upon us peace and joy; may the Risen One protect His Holy Church “against any forces of evil.” May no sorrow or worry never cloud or reduce our joy in the Risen Savior of the world!
“O great and holiest Pascha, Christ! O Wisdom, Word and Power of God! Grant that we may more perfectly partake of Thee in the unending Day of Thy Kingdom!”
Truly Christ is risen!
Pascha of Christ, 2009