2013 Pascha Encyclical

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Beloved Archpastors, Reverend Clergy, Pious Monastics

and Devout Faithful of the Orthodox Church in North America: 

Christ is risen! Truly, He is risen! 

Though scattered over the face of the whole earth, the beloved flock of our Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ, rejoices today as one and sings out with a common voice. “Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice! Christ is risen, and life reigns! Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in the grave” (Paschal Homily of St. John Chrysostom).

We express to you our archpastoral joy in the proclamation of the Lord’s bright Resurrection. On behalf of the hierarchs of our Assembly of Bishops, we greet the numerous flocks of the Church in North America, whose lips announce this joy in countless tongues all across this land. Christ is risen!

Though our world, and our country, know profound pain in these days, and though we see sorrow, grief, torment and agony too often around us, we encourage you on this of all days: though we feel sorrow at the fallenness of our world, though we grieve, we do not grieve as others which have no hope (1 Thess. 4:13) but as the sons and daughters of Him Who gives life to all creation, Whose light shines in the darkness, and the darkness does not overcome it (John 1:5). This is He Who has entered into the grave, yet Whom the grave could not contain. This is our God, Whom the bonds of death could not restrain. This is the Saviour of the world, our beloved Lord, Who today brings the world new life!

May the true light of our Lord’s Resurrection shine brightly in your hearts on this most sacred feast. May He bring us all to a newness of life through His life-creating rising from the tomb; and may our hearts, transformed by His power, shine more brightly into a world that knows too much darkness. May we, who are many and diverse yet one in faith, proclaim with one voice that truth which is above all worldly knowledge, and which will yet redeem the groaning of creation: 

Christ is risen! Truly, He is risen! 

Bestowing our archpastoral blessing, and assuring you of our prayers, 

The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America