Sacred Pascha, 2006
   Christos Anesti!

PASCHAL MESSAGE

Of the Primate of the True Orthodox Church of Greece,
His Beatitude, Archbishop
+Nicholas


To the Christ-Named Pleroma of our Martyric Church

My Children, Beloved in the Lord:

The Bridegroom Who is "most fair in beauty," and Who hath worked our salvation by means of His Incarnate Dispensation through His Passion and His Resurrection calls upon us on this day of Pascha to celebrate spiritually our salvation.

Pascha! The Lord's Pascha! An undoubted certainty of our salvation has filled our hearts and it overflows, spreading joy everywhere. The Light that dawns forth from the now empty Tomb illumines all of creation, reaching even unto the depths which, until the Descent into Hades by our Redeemer on Holy and Great Saturday, had held even the righteous captive in their dark shackles.

Jesus Christ the Victorious "…came that we might have life, and that we might have it more abundantly." He is the cause of today's celebration. Pascha belongs to the Lord, and we who are of His flock do rejoice, since, during holy Week, we each participated in His Passion. Through this participation, as a freely given Gift of our Lord, we each receive according to our capacity the Grace of the present Festival. Through the Grace of the Resurrection all anxiety is allayed; each and every pain and mourning is comforted; all want and insufficiency is filled; and every tear is wiped away, for the very graves are emptied.

Pascha! The Lord's Pascha! The lips of the Orthodox never tire to repeat this sweetest phrase, which bears within it such power that our tongues veritably stutter pronouncing it! And it is with a special joy that I, the humble servant of the Risen Christ, who serves His Church as her Archbishop do greet you all with this Paschal Greeting.

To my fellow-bishops who with their cooperation and through their rightly-dividing of the Word of Truth give stability to the edifice of the Church through the Apostolic Succession; to the sacred clergy, priests, priestmonks and hierodeacons who with such self-sacrifice cultivate the souls of the True Orthodox faithful; to the chanters and altar-servers who illumine and serve the orderliness of the Sacred Services and maintain the beauty of the sacred Temples; to our monastic communities, who though their fasting, moderation and unceasing prayer scatter the grace of the Holy Trinity throughout the world; and to the pious Christians of all ages, who guard the sacred deposit of our blameless Faith as the apple of their eye; I greet all of you from the depths of my heart, asking your prayers also.

May our Lord Jesus Christ Who arose from the dead, the Son and Word of the Father, fill all your hearts with the grace of the All-Holy Spirit, and deem us worthy to celebrate together the eternal Pascha in His Kingdom. Amen.

CHRIST IS RISEN! TRULY HE IS RISEN!

Your fervent intercessor unto the Risen Lord,

+Nicholas
of Athens and All Greece