Christ is Risen!
Thy Resurrection, O Christ, our Savior, the angels in heaven sing, enable us on earth to glorify Thee in purity of heart!
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Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen!
These words, so full of joy and hope, ring out as we celebrate once again the Mystery of the Passion and the Resurrection of our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Annually, we face the long and arduous journey of Great Lent, struggling with our sins and passions, fasting to gain control over such things, repenting of those sins and trying to be mindful of the things of God instead of the usual, mundane trifles of our daily lives. Then we “seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified.”
The Eastern Orthodox calendar consists of a sequence of feasts and fasts commemorating the Incarnation and its fulfillment in the Church. Pre-eminent among all the festivals is Pascha, the Feast of Feasts, which determines all the movable feasts for the liturgical calendar.
The week before Pascha in the Orthodox Church, called Great and Holy Week, is set apart in the ecclesiastical year, so that we might stop and change our pace, meditate upon and relive the last week in our Lord's life which opened the doors of paradise. The events are presented as a drama bringing us to identify ourselves with them and elevate us in an all-embracing movement upward to God. As we relive the annual drama, we receive its benefits and allow the events to transform us into renewed Christians. We fully participate in the services as if actually entering God's Kingdom with hearts filled with faith, minds open to revelation, and a will of concern for spiritual ascent. The scenes take place in Jerusalem. The participants are real. The events, though historical, occur in the present. The laity responds to what it sees and hears... More