Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Risen Lord!
Christ is Risen! Christos Voskrese!
I cannot let these special days of Bright Week pass without calling to remembrance our Bright Monday Paschal Liturgies, when our Sunday School children, teachers and faithful would come to Church to continue our Easter celebrations with the procession around the Church, the reading of the Four Gospels and the blessing of the exterior of our Church. It was so beautiful to witness those days which usually were followed by an Easter Egg Hunt and an ice cream party!
Over the years many of those former Sunday School children have married and have had children themselves, unfortunately this year we cannot have the same celebration, but I assure you that when we are allowed to return to our Church we will process around it with banners, lanterns and brightly colored robes offering our thanks to Almighty God for watching over us and our inheritance. We will partake of the exhuberant joy not only of Pascha but of the Ascension and Pentecost, the birthday of our Church.
It is important for us to continue to have faith and hope that this blight on our world will soon pass and that the whole world together can find a cure, so that we all may be well. My dear people I like you am heartsick about the events of these past several weeks, but I know from our conversations by phone that we are one and that we all have the belief and desire to return to our home, our Church, where many if not all of the past events in our life took place!
The Risen Lord by His Resurrection assures us of this and more, for we have received the gift of eternal life with Him! Let us persevere with patience and love for Our Lord. Jesus Christ has shattered the very gates of Hell. For as it says, “O death where is thy sting? O hell, where is thy victory? Christ is Risen and you are annihilated. Christ is Risen, and the evil ones are cast down. Christ is Risen, and the Angel’s rejoice! Christ is Risen, and life reigns! Christ is Risen, and the tombs are empty, for Christ having risen from the dead has become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. To Him be the Glory and power forever and ever. Amen!”
With love in the Risen Lord,