The beautiful bright festival
In Orthodox churches, all the people stand up & respond as this sermon by John Chrysostom (4th c.) is read on Pascha, or Easter, morning.
Is there anyone who is a devout lover of God? Enjoy this beautiful bright festival!
Is there anyone who is a grateful servant? Rejoice & enter into the joy of the Lord!
Are there any weary with fasting? With gratitude join in the Feast!
The Lord is gracious. Let us all enter into the joy of the Lord!
First and last alike receive your reward; rich and poor, rejoice together!
Sober and slothful, celebrate the day!
You that have kept the fast, and you that have not, rejoice today for the Table is richly laden! Feast royally on it. Let no one go away hungry. Partake, all, of the cup of faith. Enjoy all the riches of God’s goodness!
Let no one grieve at their poverty, for the universal kingdom has been revealed.
Let no one mourn that they have fallen again and again; for forgiveness has risen from the grave. Let no one fear death, for the Death of our Savior has set us free.
Christ has destroyed it by enduring it.
Christ destroyed Hell when He descended into it.
He put it into an uproar even as it tasted of His flesh. Hell was in an uproar because it was done away with. It is mocked. It it is annihilated. It is now made captive.
Hell took a body, and discovered God. Hell took earth, and encountered Heaven.
It took what it saw, and was overcome by what it did not see.
O death, where is your sting? O Hell, where is your victory?
Christ is Risen, and you, O death, are annihilated!
Christ is Risen, and the evil ones are cast down!
Christ is Risen, and the angels rejoice! Christ is Risen, and life is liberated!
Christ is Risen, and the tomb is emptied of its dead; for Christ having risen from the dead, is become the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep.
To Him be Glory and Power forever and ever. Amen!