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Fr. Demetrios Serfes
O Lord Jesus Christ,|
Son Of GOD,
"The Jesus Prayer"
Also known as
"The Prayer of the Heart"
Resurrection of Our Lord
(Holy Transfiguration Monastery)
In Preparation For The Glorious Bright Resurrection
Of Our Lord Jesus Christ
Father Demetrios Serfes,
The final preparations for the Great Feast of Feasts is almost upon us: the Holy Glorious Bright Resurrection of our Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ. Holy Week in the Eastern Orthodox Church begins on Holy Monday 13 April and Easter also known as Holy Pascha is celebrated on 19 April this year.
"Christ is Risen"
Holy Christianity becomes alive with these words: "Christ is Risen"! The first to hear them were the Myrrh-Bearers who came to the sepulchre of Christ. They saw that the stone which sealed off the entrance to the cave where our Lord Jesus Christ was buried had been rolled back, the grave was open and empty, and seated upon the stone was an holy Angel who said to them of Christ He is Risen (St. Matthew 28:7). According to St. Mark and St. Luke, the holy Angel was inside the sepulchre when he said He is Risen (St. Mark 16:6, St. Luke 34:6).
Our belief in the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ on earth makes Christianity a religion of great joy. Our faith calls us to the Kingdom of Heaven, but at the same time it teaches us that we should always be joyful on earth, should love one another, take care of others, work to perfect our lives here and to live peacefully with our fellowmen.
It is a pious Orthodox custom upon our Lord's Holy Resurrection and for the next forty days to greet one another with this joyful salutation up until the feast of our Lord's Holy Ascension: "Christ Is Risen" and the response is: "Truly He Is Risen".
This is also the Orthodox hymn we sing during these forty days after our Lord's Holy Resurrection:
Christ is Risen from the dead trampling down death by death
and to those in the tombs He has granted Life.
May this great Paschal Joy blossom forth in all our souls and may these days truly be a Feasts of feasts and a Triumph of triumphs: for Christ Is Risen, and gladness is eternal.
In the Love of our Risen Lord,
+ Rev. Father Demetrios Serfes
Who prays for you and with you!