Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Pascha 2012!

Today is the Day of the Resurrection! A Blessed Pascha to you all!

For any readers who may not know what Pascha means or the origin of the term, here is and explanation of the term attributed to Saint Augustine of Hippo:

"Pascha (Passover) is not, as some think, a Greek noun, but a Hebrew: and yet there occurs in this noun a very suitable kind of accordance in the two languages. For inasmuch as the Greek word paschein means to suffer, therefore pascha has been supposed to mean suffering, as if the the noun derived its name from His passion. But in its own language – that is, in Hebrew – pascha means Passover; because the Pascha was then celebrated for the first time by God’s people, when, in their flight from Egypt, they passed over the Red Sea. And now that prophetic emblem is fulfilled in truth, when Christ is led as a sheep to the slaughter, that by His blood sprinkled on our doorposts, that is, by the sign of His cross marked on our foreheads, we may be delivered from the perdition awaiting this world, as Israel from the bondage and destruction of the Egyptians; and a most useful journey we make when we pass over from the devil to Christ, and from this unstable world to His well-established Kingdom. And therefore surely do we pass over to the ever-abiding God, that we may not pass away with this passing world." - St. Augustine of Hippo

And abiding words on this glorious day from our Holy Father Gregory of Nyssa:

"This is the day which the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad! O glorious state, O sweet invitation! Who tarries in accepting this invitation? Joy is the task, jubilation the injunction, through which the judgment growing out of sin is suspended and sorrow is turned into happiness.

Every memory of our condemnation is totally wiped out. Formerly birth was with pain but now without. Formerly we were born as sons of men but now as children of God. Formerly we were sent down from heaven to earth but now the Heavenly One has made us heavenly. Formerly death ruled through the power of sin but now through life justice has got the upper hand. One person opened the portal of death; Another Person led life back. We lost life through death in former times, but now death has been conquered by life. We hid under the fig tree of shame, but now in glory we approach the Tree of Life. We were driven out of paradise for our disobedience, but now by faith we gain paradise. Again the fruit is offered us for our enjoyment at will. Once more the fountain of paradise parted four-fold by the streams of the Gospel, gives drink to the whole Church—so that the Church may cause the furrows of our soul to overflow, those furrows ploughed by the teaching of Him Who sowed the word--and that the fruits of virtue may multiply. What, then, shall we do? What, indeed, but imitate the skipping of the mountains and hills in the Prophet? For the mountains, he says, skipped like rams and the hills like young lambs (Ps. 114:4, 6).

Come, then, and let us rejoice in the Lord Who has broken the power of the enemy and has raised the sign of victory of the Cross through the overthrow of the adversary. Let us raise a battle cry. But a battle-cry is a shout of victory. Because now the battle line of the enemy has been cast down, he who has power over the evil hosts of demons has vanished and, being uprooted, has sunk back into nullity.

Let us proclaim that it is God, the great Lord and great King of all the earth , Who has blessed the crown of His Acceptable Year and has gathered us to this spiritual congregation in the Lord Christ Jesus, to Whom be the honor to the ages of ages."
- St. Gregory of Nyssa

Christós anésti!

Grab your favorite Lager and celebrate!

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