Paschal Epistle of Metropolitan Hilarion 2016

April 30, 2016

Paschal Epistle of Metropolitan Hilarion 2016

Your Graces, Brother Archpastors, reverend fathers, God-loving monastics, dear in the Lord brothers and sisters, parishioners and worshippers of our churches throughout the world,

CHRIST IS RISEN!

Every year, we are filled with spiritual joy and ecstasy when we hear these words and reverently participate in the exalted solemnity of the Paschal divine services, which remind us of Christ’s glorious victory over sin, evil, and death, for we celebrate “the demise of death, the destruction of hades, the beginning of a new and everlasting life” (from the Paschal Canon). The Most Blessed Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky), who passed into eternity 80 years ago, penetratingly observed that every feast is a sacrament. And Pascha is “the feast of feasts and triumph of triumphs.” The gracious power of this mystical celebration fills with joy, comforts, strengthens for the bearing of life’s cross, restores one’s inner powers, and imbues one with the spiritual vigilance and undaunted courage to endure all of the sorrows and sufferings that beset us in this life.

The light of Pascha dispels the darkness of doubts and confirms us in faith, as it once did the apostles and other eyewitnesses, who, after the Resurrection of Christ, became ardent and fearless proclaimers of this truth, suffering all manner of persecutions and tortures for it. Ever since, no matter how much persecutors and false teachers, enraged by the successes of Christianity, intensify their efforts to suppress the Holy Church, She always emerges from this conflict victorious and glorious. Thus She has stood unshaken for two millennia, in the full glory of Her Orthodoxy. How many societies and human institutions have disappeared during this period of time; how many kingdoms and governments have been crushed! Only the Orthodox Christian Church has passed unscathed through the passage of centuries, remaining eternally young and ageless.

As the Holy Apostle writes, Christ Himself, Who arose on the third day, is the Head and Cornerstone of the Church (Eph. 2: 20), Who has promised to remain with Her (Matt. 28:20) and Who has given to Her as a legacy the eternal preservation of grace and truth (John 1:17). During terrible times of immorality and the domination of unbelief and heresies, the Orthodox never allowed their spirits to fall, but “remembered that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead” (II Tim. 2:8), and were even more inspired to earnestness in the service of God and man within the Church. Thus, dear brethren and sisters, even in today’s complex era of little faith, false teachings, and moral depravity, we must not lose either hope or confidence that there are no waves of evil that are capable of drowning the divinely planted garden of the Orthodox Church. Christ, Who rose from the dead, the Founder of the Church, Who preserves us sinners, “shall not slumber nor shall He sleep” (Ps. 120:4) in His salvific providential care for the Church. His grace and truth, which lead us to eternal unity with God, will never be lacking in this spiritual treasury. For this reason, following the good example of our predecessors, we place our trust in the Savior of all men, mindful that “the truth of the Lord abideth forever” (Ps. 116:2), and that “there is no power that is able to vanquish the Lord; there is no authority that is able to prevent the Lord from carrying out His will,” as wrote the Holy Hierarch John (Maximovitch), the fiftieth anniversary of whose repose we prayerfully mark this year.

With all my heart, I greet each and every one of you at the all-radiant festival of Holy Pascha; and it is my prayerful desire that the Risen Lord will grant you strong faith, health of soul and body, all prosperity, and help from Heaven. May the Lord illumine with the light of His Resurrection the souls of the children of His Church, for the joy of the sorrowful and the oppressed, and the conversion and enlightenment of those who are “alienated from the life of God” (Eph. 4:18), among whom we live and carry out our service. May we be preserved under the protection of the Kursk Root Mother of God, who has taken the Orthodox people in the Diaspora into her keeping.

With paschal joy and love in the Risen Christ,

+HILARION
Metropolitan of Eastern America & New York
First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad

The Pascha of the Lord
2016 A.D.




Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in Articles & Sermons

Sermon for All Saints of Russia 2017
Sermon for All Saints of Russia 2017

June 18, 2017

All of these saints of Russia are calling us to heaven, interceding with pain and tears for us; they are here to help us at all times. She is our Patroness, Holy Rus’. She is our Mother; and Her saints are our brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers.

Continue Reading

Sermon for the Sunday of All Saints 2017
Sermon for the Sunday of All Saints 2017

June 11, 2017

Today marks the end of a particular cycle in the Church year. This cycle began with the Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee, which is also the beginning of the Lenten Triodion. Today is the end of this period, not only the end but also its apex. It is an apex because the fruit of the work of Christ, which has been illustrated, exemplified, chanted about and homilized on since the beginning of Lent, is born out in the members of the Church. This fruit is the transformation of members of the Church into Saints. The Saints are those who are partakers of God, each in varying degrees and are recognized as such by the Church through their lives.

Continue Reading

Sermon for Pentecost 2017
Sermon for Pentecost 2017

June 04, 2017 1 Comment

This day is the culmination of all human history. Everything that came to pass from the day that Adam was cast out of Paradise, or rather from the very moment when the Lord God commanded: "Let there be light," was foreknown and invisibly directed by the unfathomable providence of God in order to lead precisely to this day. Every event of Christ's earthly life, His birth, His baptism, His teaching, His miracles, His Passion and Crucifixion, His Resurrection and Ascension, every act and every step He took was done in order that, on this day, the Holy Spirit might descend upon the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve.

Continue Reading