CHRIST IS RISEN !
TRULY HE IS RISEN!
Every Pascha we cry out and hear from others: “Christ is risen! Truly He is risen!” But Pascha is not a one-day celebration and has is not ended, for its celebration continues for forty days, during which we greet each other with: “Christ is risen!” “Truly He is risen!” Pascha is the Feast Day above and beyond all other feast days -- it is the Feast of Feasts. On Pascha Churches are usually filled with celebrants who join together singing: “Christ is risen!” Red eggs are seen everywhere, and celebrants are holding lighted candles. The day of the Resurrection of Christ has no equal in the enthusiasm of its celebration and the accompanying joy, for the fast is over and Pascha is here!
The week beginning with Pascha, known as New Week, is an extension of Pascha, the seven days being a continuation of the single day of Pascha. With enthusiasm we sing: “Christ is risen from the dead trampling down death by death and upon those in the tombs bestowing life.” In exceeding joy we keep these seven days sending up prayers and glorification to the one who arose from the dead and by His death put death to death. We continue singing of Pascha for a full forty days, from Pascha to Ascension, for we start and finish both private prayers and all services greeting each other and singing: “Christ is risen!
The joy of this feast is that it directly concerns us by offering us life, greatly affecting our present and endless future, which is everlasting life, and happily death’s empty threats have been annihilated. The Incarnation, Passion, Crucifixion, Death and Resurrection of the Son of God is part of the divine plan of God for the salvation and sanctification of the entire human race. Christ is the Godman who being God also became a man like us and dwelled among us full of grace and truth. He is the example of what the man we must strive to become. God became man to save us and so that man may become a god like God. For this reason the Paschal celebration should inspire us to decide to change our lives. The week after Pascha is called New Week, and concerns the transition from the old to the new, from the old man to the new man Christ, from sin and death, to virtue and Resurrection. We all need to study, learn and act following Christ’s commandments in order to derive benefit from the Resurrection. Our reformation needs to be sparked by our firm understanding that following Christ is even more precious than the offering of our praises and glorification on the day of Pascha. In doing this we will remember and celebrate and continually live Pascha each day of our lives, then we will be prepared to enter the never ending paschal domain through the doors of a harmless death. During the thirty-three years before His Passion, Death and Resurrection, Christ was teaching, exhorting and encouraging the propagation of His Gospel, which would be spread over the earth.