UKRAINIAN AUTOCEPHALOUS ORTHODOX CHURCH
OF NORTH & SOUTH AMERICA
AND THE DIASPORA
2005 EASTER PASTORAL LETTER
TO THE CLERGY, RELIGIOUS AND FAITHFUL OF THE UKRAINIAN AUTOCEPHALOUS ORTHODOX CHURCH OF NORTH & SOUTH AMERICA & THE DIASPORA:
MAY THE GRACE AND PEACE OF GOD OUR FATHER AND OF OUR RISEN LORD JESUS CHRIST BE WITH ALL OF YOU AT THIS RADIANT TIME, WITH OUR ARCHPASTORAL BLESSING!
"Your resurrection, O Christ our Savior, the angels in heaven praise with hymns. Grant also to us on earth, to glorify you in purity of heart."
- (Processional Troparion, Tone 6, Resurrection Matins)
Pascha - Velykden' - 2005
The Radiant Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ
With these words, we begin our liturgical celebration of this "Great Day," recognizing the significance of the Resurrection for the entire universe, both here in the physical world and in the spiritual realm that worships along with us.
While we rejoice and celebrate the Feast, let us not forget that it is based not on power or self-worthiness, but on humility, endurance and peace. Prior to the resurrection, Jesus' disciples did not quite understand the nature of the Kingdom that he was about to establish. Thinking more in a worldly, temporal mindset, they often missed the message behind Jesus' messiahship. To truly understand what constitutes God's glory and power and thus, the Resurrection of our Lord, we must look to the experience that led to this victory.
Jesus Christ endured criticism, persecution and finally bitter suffering and death, to show the world the real meaning of God's glorious reign. As Christians, we are often called to share in the self-humbling of Jesus, as we try to live life according to the Gospel message. Let us always remember that the difficulties we may experience for the sake of righteousness will bear fruit in a positive, liberated future, where God's love and peace will rule all things.
This is our faith and this is the message of hope that Pascha offers us. It is also a time for us to celebrate according to the beautiful traditions passed down to us from our ancestors. In as much as these liturgical and cultural practices move us to witness to the Resurrection in our present lives, let us hold fast to them and understand the message that they bear.
I thank our beloved clergy and cantors for their dedicated service during this past Lent, Passion Week and throughout the year. Without their ministry, our celebration of paschaltide would not be the wonderful experience that it is.
Assuring you of my paschal blessing and heartfelt prayers at this time of celebration, I ask you to remember me and the work of our church throughout the world in your Easter supplications to the Risen Lord.
Faithfully in the Risen Christ,
The Most Rev. Michael Javchak Champion, DD., MA Th.
Archbishop-Metropolitan of the United States & the Americas
Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church of North & South America
And the Diaspora
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