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The Radiant Feast

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  • byakimov@csc.com.au
    The Radiant Feast The Resurrection of our Lord, the Feast of Feasts, is called in the Church calendar “radiant” or “bright,” as is every day of the
    Message 1 of 1 , May 4, 2005
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      The Radiant Feast

      The Resurrection of our Lord, the Feast of Feasts, is called in the Church
      calendar “radiant” or “bright,” as is every day of the week that follows.
      And indeed the dominant theme of the Feast, felt especially acutely by
      those who have attended many of the dark somber services which the Orthodox
      Church prescribes for the Great Lent and Passion Week, is one of brilliant,
      dazzling light. During the Matins of the Resurrection every light in church
      is lit, the clergy is attired in bright vestments, every believer holds a
      lighted candle, and the constant theme of the hymns and canticles is one of

      “The Day of Resurrection! Let us be illumined, O ye people! Let us purify
      our senses and we shall behold Christ, radiant with the light ineffable of
      the Resurrection… Now are all things filled with light… Let us behold
      Christ, the Sun of Righteousness, Who lighteth the life of all mankind…
      Holy is this redeeming and radiantly-effulgent night, the harbinger of the
      bright and beaming Day of the Resurrection, on which the Light Eternal that
      hath no bounds shone forth in the flesh from the grace for all mankind.”

      The brightness of the Feast of the Resurrection is symbolic of many things:
      of purity, of life, of the everflowing joy and grace of the Feast. But it
      is also much more than a symbol; it is already a foretaste of what every
      Christian lives for: eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven. In the canon of
      the Resurrection we hear: “Shine, shine, O New Jerusalem, for the glory of
      the Lord is risen upon thee.” The New Jerusalem is the Kingdom of Heaven,
      in which everything and everyone shall be filled with light; “then shall
      the righteous shine forth as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father” (Matt.

      Already in our perishing world this light has become visible. It is the
      light of the Transfiguration of our Lord that blinded the apostles on
      Mt.Tabor; it is the light with which the prophet Moses shone after he had
      spoken with God on Mt. Sinai, so that his face had to be covered with a
      veil; it is the light with which St. Seraphim of Sarov and others of the
      great saints have shone. It is the light seen with his inward eye by every
      Orthodox Christian who lives the life of grace in the Church through the
      sacraments, the life lived so intensely by the recently-canonized Orthodox
      pastor, St. John of Kronstadt, that he could feel and exclaim: “All is
      fire, all is light, all is warmth.” Those who have received Holy Communion
      on the Feast of the Resurrection, after having fasted and mourned with the
      Church throughout the Great Lent, already know something of this radiant

      If we can begin such a life already in this corruptible flesh, can we even
      imagine the life that we shall lead in the spiritual body with which we
      shall be resurrected in our Lord? Then the darkness of sin will no longer
      obstruct the action of grace in us, and we shall shine with the light of
      the spiritual Sun, our Lord Jesus Christ, and all who shall attain to that
      Kingdom will live in effulgent light.

      Father Seraphim (Rose)
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