Paschal Encyclical 2011

Beloved Children in the Lord,

“Yesterday was I buried with Thee O Christ, and today I arise with Thine arising. Yesterday was I crucified with Thee, do Thou Thyself glorify me with Thee O Savior in Thy Kingdom.”

With these words the Church celebrates the Feast of Feast and Triumph of Triumphs - Holy Pascha, Pascha is the central point of human history, for on this day the whole life of Christ reaches it fulfillment, and the life of Christ is the life of every true Christian. Yesterday was I buried with Thee, O Christ; that is, during the Fast and throughout my life I have died to sin, wishing to imitate in all things my Master Christ. I have buried the old man and put on the new man of the Resurrection. Yesterday I was crucified with Thee; that is, during the Fast and throughout my life I have crucified the passions by practicing asceticism and mortifying the desires of the flesh. For as the Apostle Paul says, all those who wish to live in Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with the affections and desires. It is for this reason that I have fasted these forty days; it is for this reason I have stood through the long services of Great Lent. And what is my reward? Today I arise with Thee! As I have lived with Christ in His suffering, so I live with Christ in His glory. His suffering is mine through death unto sin, and His glory is mine through the resurrection into new life. For even now we partake in part of His glory; even now we taste of the joy which will be ours forever in the common resurrection. For Christ is the first-fruits of them that slept. He raises us up from sin; and where there is no sin, there is no death. Thus we who live in the sinless Christ do not die forever, but are raised up with Him into eternal glory. And so we pray: Do Thou Thyself glorify me with Thee O Savior in Thy Kingdom!

On this bright day of Christ’s resurrection I wish you all joy and gladness. May the eternal light of Christ shine upon you as we sing:

Christ is Risen!

+Pavlos, Metropolitan of America

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