Archpastoral Message of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon
To the Venerable Hierarchs, Reverend Clergy, Monastics, Distinguished Stewards, and the entire family of the Orthodox Church in America:
Christ is risen! Indeed He is risen!
I greet all of you on this bright day, the radiant and holy day of Pascha, the day upon which the light of Christ has risen upon all mortal human beings. The light that now surrounds us in our Churches, in our Monasteries, and in all of creation, is greater than can be accounted for by physical candles, chandeliers, or the sun and the moon.
The light that presently shines is the light of the Lord’s dramatic victory over hell, over corruption and over death itself. He had reminded His Disciples that whosoever lives and believes on me, shall never die and today, that promise is fulfilled in us, for Christ’s victory has become our victory – we have entered fully into it.
The Holy Apostle Paul reminds us of this when he says: Know ye not that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore, we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we should also walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall also be in the likeness of his resurrection (Romans 6:3-5).
As we share the joy of the Feast of Feasts in our communities, with our families, and even with strangers, let us all give thanks for the light in our hearts, for it is not a simple emotional response, but an experience of authentic life – life which pierces through the darkness of our earthly cares and passions.
And so, let us rejoice in the Lord with thanksgiving for His great victory, and let us cry out with the paschal hymn: Yesterday, O Christ, I was buried with Thee, and today I rise again with Thee, in Thy rising. Yesterday I was crucified with Thee, now glorify me, O Savior, in Thy Kingdom.
Christ is risen!
Archbishop of Washington
Metropolitan of All America and Canada