Paschal Greeting 2012- Christ is Risen
With our pilgrimage to the Holy Lands this past summer, we had the opportunity to celebrate a midnight liturgy at the tomb of Christ. Maintained by the Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem and shared by many different Christian denominations, the tomb of Christ is in the center of the complex of the church of the Holy Sepulcher. The holy altar built right in front of the entrance of the tomb is from the rock that had actually sealed our Lord’s grave. As priests we had the humble blessing to kneel inside the grave as we prepared the proskomide and read the names of the living and the dead that were submitted to us. Even though it was the summer time, the hymns of the resurrection are chanted every day at the tomb of our Lord, Jesus because it was and still is here where our Lord conquered death by descending into Hades and loosing the bonds of death.
The resurrection is not meant to be a once a year historical rendering of the resurrection of Christ but like the hymns that are chanted at the Holy Sepulcher each and every day, the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ is meant to be an everyday living experience through our communion with Christ, by our following the teachings of the Lord, through the works of mercy that we are called to render each and every day, in forming honest, loving and virtuous relationships with family, friends, relatives and God willing the spouse that we might marry in the future.
As we celebrate tonight at the historic community of the Cathedral of SS Constantine and Helen, we begin to prepare ourselves, God willing, for next year when we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Cathedral and the 50th Anniversary of the A. Fantis School. May our resurrected Lord, fill our lives with the joy and love that truly keeps a faith community, such as ours, dynamic, in harmony, humble and full of the witness of the great works that our great God had done, does and will continue to do. Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!