REPUBLIC OF GREECE
CHURCH OF THE G.O.C. OF GREECE
HOLY SYNOD
KANINGOS 32 (3rd
floor)
106 82 ATHENS
TEL.
21038 28 280
FAX
21038 47 365
ΕΛΛΑΣ
GREECE
Protocol no. 1906
PASCHAL ENCYCLICAL
YEAR OF SALVATION:
2014
To the entire Church
Today the whole creation is glad and doth rejoice, for
Christ is risen , and Hades hath been despoiled!
“This is the day which the Lord hath made; let us rejoice and be glad therein!”
Beloved Children in the Lord, During today’s holy, brilliant, and light-bearing feast,
the joy and rejoicing of our Lord’s Resurrection fill the hearts of all Orthodox Christians, so that they join
their hymns of glory with those of the Holy Angels in heaven and with all crea-tion in unceasing hymnody
and ineffable thanksgiving.
The despoiling of Hades and the victory of life over death in our Resurrected
Savior Christ Jesus is a prelude to the chosen and holy day, the queen and lady:
the Feast of feasts and Festival of festivals, Pascha, the Lord’s Pascha!
* * *
However, what precedes this Grace? The Mystery of the Cross: “For behold,
through the Cross joy hath come to the whole world!”
Our Lord hastened to fulfill the work of our salvation, having often foretold His
Divine Passion, the Cross, and His glorious Resurrection. To His Passion he went
voluntarily, drinking the cup of death in obedience, in order to redeem all man-
kind from sin, the devil, and death. He truly gave up the ghost on the Cross, and
encountered the corruption of death, in the sense that His Soul, united hypostat-
ically with His Divinity, was parted from His Body, also hypostatically united
with His Divinity, thus taking up His abode, in hope, in the God-receiving
Tomb.
* * *
Just as His Soul was not abandoned in Hades, neither did His flesh see corruption,
as the Psalmist says. The Body of the Master rested for a short while in the tomb
without suffering any corruption and decay, and His Soul was translated to Hades
to free those who had been held there from ages past.
The quickening of His Body after three days through the return of His immacu-
late Soul, namely, His Resurrection, was not a feat rendered on His behalf, but in order that this good deed might be imparted “to the entire nature of man”
(St. Cyril of Alexandria)
.
* * *
Wherefore, the common jubilation of the Divine Persons of the Holy Trinity at
the accomplishment of our salvation is also the common jubilation of the Church
of Christ, which is transmitted to each of its honorable members.
All those of the Church of Christ, leaping with joy, praise the only blessed and
most glorious God of our Fathers, for He is the cause of the death of death, the
destruction of Hades, and the beginning of another life, namely, an eternal one.
The birth-pangs of death are loosed, death does not separate us from Christ, we
no longer depart into dark Hades, but into heavenly and brilliant mansions, to
dwell there eternally full of every good!
* * *
However, are we living all of these things even now, as a pledge of eternal inhe
ritance? Do we believe in an Orthodox manner, without innovation, and do we
keep the holy commandments, so that we may be deemed worthy of the gifts
of the Resurrection?
The Lord our God encourages each of us, as He encouraged His friend, the right-
eous Abraham: “be wellpleasing before me, and be blameless”!
And St. James the Brother of the Lord tells every faithful person: “to keep himself
unspotted from the world.”
The joy of the Resurrection and the living experience of Resurrectional hope form
the connection between our sound faith (Orthodoxy) and its practical confirmation in our lives (Ortho
praxis).
Proportionate to our repentance, victory over the passions, cleansing from sin, liberation from
the bonds of the evil one, and worthy and frequent partaking of the Immaculate
Mysteries, we receive the grace and joy of the victory of the Resurrection in hope of life eternal.
From the Empty Tomb there have sprung forth hope and joy,and there ever spring forth peace,reconciliation, union in truth and love, communion of life, and aforetaste of things heavenly.
* * *
Beloved and dearest children in the Risen Lord,
Just recently our Lord deemed us worthy to taste a first resurrection by way of the gift of unity, in our Genuine Orthodox Church, of brethren who were heretofore separated, from near and far, for the reinforcement of the
bonds of truth and love and in hope of reproving the heresy and apostasy of ecumenism in our apocalyptic times.
May this engagement in the Resurrection be blessed, and may it expand ever more greatly, that none should remain a prisoner in the hell of the impassioned enmities of this world of corruption, division, isolation, and
disintegration.
May our Resurrectional hope make our Church radiant and guide all of our steps to the safe harbor of sanctification and salvation, to the Glory of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
Christ is Risen!
Truly, He is Risen!
Holy Pascha 2014
THE HOLY SYNOD

The Archbishop
† KALLINIKOS of Athens

Members
† AKAKIOS of Attica and Diauleia
† MAXIMOS of Thessalonica and Demetrias
† ATHANASIOS of Larisa and Platamo
† JUSTIN of Euripos and Euboea
† GERONTIOS of Piraeus and Salamina
† CHRYSOSTOMOS of Attica and Boeotia
† MOSES of Toronto
† DEMETRIUS of America
† CHRYSOSTOMOS of Etna
† CYPRIAN of Oropos and Phyle
† GREGORY of Christianoupolis
† PHOTIOS of Marathon
† SERGIOS of Portland
† AMBROSE of Philippi
† AMBROSE of Methone
† MICHAEL of Nora
† SILVANO of Luni
† CLEMENT of Gardikion
† THEODOSIOS of Bresthena
† CHRISTODOULOS of Theoupolis
† AUXENTIOS of Photike

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