Paschal Epistle of Metropolitan Laurus
Paschal Epistle of Metropolitan Laurus,
First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad
Christ is risen!
"Come, all ye faithful, and let us worship the holy Resurrection of
Christ. For, lo! by the Cross hath joy come to all the world" (Paschal
Matins, "Having beheld the Resurrection of Christ")
Joy and exultation have shone forth upon the whole world. And the hymns
of the Church during these days accordingly call us to spiritual joy:
"This is the day that the Lord hath made; let us rejoice and be glad
therein." And the whole world, visible and invisible, rejoices and
exults in the rising of Christ.
"Let the heavens be glad as is meet, and let the earth rejoice; and let
the whole world, visible and invisible, keep festival, for Christ, the
eternal gladness, is risen."
Since we celebrate the slaying of death, the destruction of hades, the
Holy Church rejoices and joins chorus, and calls all to celebrate the
joyous triumph of the Resurrection of Christ. It invites both the
angels and men, the living and the dead, to join together prayerfully
now to hymn the all-radiant Resurrection of Christ.
Who can fail to rejoice, seeing that, after the terrible sufferings He
underwent (which we remembered with the Holy Church during Passion
Week), Christ the Savior has risen? This miraculous event provides us
with the basis for the resurrection which is to come, and fills us also
with paschal joy.
Our Lord Jesus Christ suffered, and by His sufferings He teaches us
that without suffering we will not be able to pass through this earthly
life, this vale of tears and sorrows. But after this earthly life,
after all our sufferings, our own resurrection will follow--we also
will arise as our Savior arose.
Therefore, let us rejoice and join chorus, brethren and sisters, for
Christ has vanquished hades and death; He has thrown wide for us the
gates of paradise, and unto all who have cleansed themselves of sins
and iniquities with a pure heart 'unto them all has He granted
This is why the Holy Church calls us to spiritual triumph: "Jesus
having risen from the tomb, as He foretold, hath given us everlasting
life and great mercy."
With all my heart I greet our archpastors, pastors, and our whole
God-loving flock, with these great and salvific days of the radiant
Resurrection of Christ.
Truly Christ is risen!
+ Metropolitan Laurus
The Pascha of Christ, 2003