O Light-formed children of the Church,
The brilliant and light-bearing day of the Resurrection has once again dawned. The beautiful Sun of Righteousness shone forth. The souls of the faithful are illuminated through the light of Grace. The joy of the Resurrection floods the hearts of those that formerly fasted and mourned.
How vividly the pen of St. John of Damascus describes this day’s transformation of sentiment: “Yesterday I was 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 Saviour, in Thy Kingdom.” What profound theological meanings are veiled in these simple words! The Apostle Paul relates in this connection: “If so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together.” (Romans 8:17) Our participation in the passion of Christ is the precondition for our participation in His glory.
Our Lord and Master took upon Himself our own nature, taking the form of a servant. He Who is without sin suffered on our behalf and arose. And we, therefore, who believe in Him and have been baptized have become communicants of His passion and resurrection. This is, after all, what the mystery of baptism signifies: “As many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death. Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection.” (Romans 6:3-5) It is not, therefore, by chance that the baptisms of catechumens happened expressly on Great Saturday, when the entire atmosphere of Great Week and Renewal Week contributed to their truly experiencing within themselves the divine Passion and glorious Resurrection.
We, however, on hearing the Apostolic verse resounding in the churches as it is chanted throughout Renewal Week—“As many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Galatians 3:27)—let us take care to appear worthy of the greatest gift. The Apostle Paul himself addresses us all, who have been baptized in Christ, saying that in knowing this truth and in knowing that our old man has been crucified together with Christ so that the body of sin may be abolished, let us be slaves of sin no longer but live for God: “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:11)
Let us seize this message, beloved brethren and children in the Lord, and let us die finally to sin and live according to God, as communicants of the Resurrection. And then, being ransomed from death we shall celebrate the Pascha of our salvation: our passage from slavery to freedom, from death to life, from the earth to heaven.
“For Christ God hath brought us from death to life, and from earth unto Heaven as we sing the triumphal hymn.”
Christ is risen, brethren!
THE HOLY SYNOD
+ KALLINIKOS of Athens
+ AKAKIOS of Attica and Diauleia
+ MAXIMOS of Thessalonica and Demetrias
+ ATHANASIOS of Larisa and Platamon
+ JUSTIN of Euripus and Euboea
+ PAVLOS of America
+ GERONTIOS of Piraeus and Salamis
+ CHRYSOSTOMOS of Attica and Boeotia
+ GREGORY of Christianoupolis
+ PHOTIOS of Marathon
+ THEODOSIOS of Bresthena
Why do we follow the Old Orthodox Calendar?
a Because based on it, the First Ecumenical Council established the Paschal Canon and appointed that the feast of Holy Pascha may fall anywhere from March 22nd until April 25th, while with the New (Papal) Calendar it can fall as late at May 8th.
b The Gregorian (Papal) Calendar has been condemned by three Pan-Orthodox Councils under Patriarch Jeremiah Tranos (1583, 1587, 1589) Read more...
Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church is a beautiful mission parish near downtown Tucson, a city in southern Arizona. It was started in 1997 by Father John Bockman, who was a missionary Priest formerly serving missions in Tennessee and Massachusetts since 1990. Father John served the faithful in Tucson and the surrounding area in his home Chapel until his repose in November of 2000. His wife, Presbytera Valerie, continued to make her home Chapel available for the mission, with clergy from Saint Nectarios Orthodox Church in Seattle and His Eminence, Metropolitan Moses of Toronto (then of Portland), visiting to provide the Divine Services.Read more...
2021 St. Xenia Camp
Greetings St. Xenia Camp family,
As previously announced, through the intercessions of St. Xenia, the prayers of so many of you, and with the blessing of Metropolitan Demetrius, St. Xenia Camp 2021 will return to Forest Acres in Fryeburg, Maine August 15-21! Given the continued impact of COVID-19, camp this year may yet be somewhat different from the past Forest Acres experiences. We are sharing this information ahead of registration so that all families can make an informed decision on whether they feel comfortable sending their camper(s) this year. [Read more...]