Thursday, April 12, 2012

Dear Brethren,

This is just a reminder that as Orthodox we should live the life that has the resurrected Christ at the center of everything that we do. We have been given the fullness of God’s revelation to mankind in Christ and His Holy Church and it is for us to live in His Holy Church. The center of the Church is Pascha and everything that we do as Orthodox comes from our understanding of Pascha.

Pascha permeates everything. When we celebrate our nameday, it’s connected to Pascha; when we celebrate our family Slava, it’s connected to Pascha; when we have a festal meal and celebration and when we have fellowship together, it’s connected to Pascha. Pascha is the source of our joy and hope and if we remove Pascha from our lives, all of these things: namedays, Slava celebrations, festal meals, etc, all become meaningless events. In other words, they become superstitions.

As Orthodox we should attend the Paschal services on Saturday night that usher forth the brightness of the empty tomb of our Lord; we should participate in the night where the darkness is eclipsed by the brightness of the Lord. Whether we have strayed away from the Church during the year or not, we are all called to be at the Paschal services and partake of the Paschal Joy. If we know Orthodox people who have fallen away from the Church, we should invite them to join us. If we have families, we should come together as a family to Pascha. In the words of St John Chrysostom that are read every Pascha night:
“You rich and poor together, hold high festival! You sober and you heedless, honor the day!

Rejoice today, both you who have fasted. And you who have disregarded the fast. The table is full-laden; feast ye all sumptuously. The calf is fatted; let no one go hungry away. Enjoy ye all the feast of faith: Receive ye all the riches of loving-kindness.”

I look forward to seeing all of you on Pascha night and greeting you with the saving words, “Christ is risen!”

With much love in our risen Lord,
Archpriest Mark Mancuso