Christ is Risen from the Dead, Trampling down Death by death, And upon those in the tombs, Bestowing Life.
This year’s Coronavirus Pandemic has posed great challenges to our community, our city and the whole world. So many people have been affected by COVID-19 and with great sadness many have perished, “Eternal be their Memory.” Strict measures have been imposed on our livelihoods. We have self isolated to protect ourselves and our neighbours. We have prayed the Holy Services from our “house churches” via the live stream of our Holy Trinity Church. Having sojourned through the Lenten 40 day period we have now arrived at the empty tomb. Like the Myrrh-bearing women we have bore witness to our Resurrected Lord Jesus Christ and have celebrated another Pascha; our Saviour has trampled and conquered death through His Passion. Through His Life-Giving Resurrection He has delivered us from the exile of sin and death, and a new day has dawned on all of us faithful.
With this year’s humble celebration of Pascha we have re-entered into the “final day,” the Lord’s day (Kyriaki) or the “Eighth Day.” It is on the Eighth Day that Christ triumphantly rose from the dead, marking the beginning of the final age where humankind is now reconciled to God. The new creation given to us in Christ’s Resurrection is fulfilled and completed in Him. This is why we continue to sing the Paschal canon which reads; “The day of Resurrection! O people, let us be radiant. It is the Pascha, the Lord’s Passover; for Christ God has carried us over from death to life, from earth to heaven, as we sing a victory hymn.”
Pascha, as the Feast of all Feasts is intended to last for more than one day. All of us who have become members of Christ’s Body through Holy Baptism are called to live always as in the Eighth Day, ever abiding in the “New Jerusalem,” the city of God which has “no need of sun or moon to shine upon it, for the Glory of God is the light, and its lamp is the Lamb [of God].” (Revelation 21:23) The Lord has called upon each and everyone of us to not only merely say or chant the Paschal hymn “Christ is Risen.” Rather, He has called us to transform ourselves by His Grace and to Rise with Him daily, especially through prayer during the current difficulties we face. May we always look to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ for the hope and new life He grants to us through His Glorious Resurrection.
ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ! ΑΛΗΘΩΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ! CHRIST IS RISEN! TRULY HE IS RISEN!
With love and hope in the Resurrected Lord, +Oikonomos, Rev. Fr. Konstantine Chatzis, Ieratikos Proistamenos