Christ Is Risen!Posted: April 19, 2020 Filed under: Etcetera | Tags: Christ is risen!, Pascha in isolation 2 Comments
This is a Pascha (Easter) unlike any other. No Orthodox Christian living in the western world has a memory of a Holy Week, Holy Saturday, or Pascha such as we have experienced this year. We are in isolation, and unable to gather together to worship our Lord. The services of Holy Week and Pascha were faithfully and truly celebrated by the mandated few. Yet, this year there was no communal experience of the victorious declaration of his resurrection with the illumination of the darkened nave as the lighting of candles dispersed the night’s gloom. There was no communal joyous Paschal Matins. There was no communal hearing of the Paschal Gospel (St. John 1: 1 – 18), no communal exchange of the peace, no common movement toward Communion of his Body and Blood, no singing of the Paschal Troparion together as the assembled faithful — his Body.
I must confess to occasional pouting and sulking like a preteen this past week through yesterday. But, our risen Lord is constant even in inconstant times (even when I pout). He is truly “risen from the dead trampling down death by death…” He is constant and faithful even in this isolation caused by an unseen viral enemy. He is working in our lives in spite of absences and disruptions which are put upon us for the common good of all. He is working his Light and Life into us even in these strange days.
So, let our faith and joy “go viral!” Keep this hymn in our hearts and hold it as our prayer during this Pascha day and its season:
Thy resurrection, O Christ our Savior, the angles in heaven sing! Enable us on earth to glorify thee in purity of heart.
Christ is risen!
He is Risen Indeed! I crept from my isolation last night to ambush Father John right after he had finished blessing the paschal baskets of those fortunate few who were able to participate in the Chapel. He was not going to creep off into the night without facing down, what I had assured myself would be his fall. Pride doth indeed go before a fall, as it was I who went down in defeat last night, still clutching the four foot staff that had held my now shattered egg. The blessing and joy of Pascha had come full force through a diminutive laptop screen for this poor soul. Shut out and isolated, a mere few hundred feet from the Banquet Feast of the King of All, it was still, by God’s benevolent grace, PASCHA. I am wishing you that same blessing and joy for all of 2020, dear Father Irenaeus and Mat. Janice, that the two of you bring to each of us who are so fortunate to have you in our lives.Â Christ is indeed risen. No puny plague can stop Him!Â
With abundant love on this Pascha Sunday, Gide
Blessed Pascha! Christ is risen indeed!