We celebrate the death of Death!

Paschal Sermon of St. John Chrysostom
Archbishop of Constantinople

Descent into Hades

Is there anyone who is a devout lover of God?
Let him enjoy this beautiful bright festival!
Is there anyone who is a grateful servant?
Let him rejoice and enter into the joy of their Lord!

Are there any weary with fasting?
Let him now receive his wages!
If any have toiled from the first hour,
let him receive his due reward;
If any have come after the third hour,
let him with gratitude join in the Feast!
And he that arrived after the sixth hour,
let him not doubt; for he, too, shall sustain no loss.
And if any delayed until the ninth hour,
let him not hesitate; but let him come, too.
And he who arrived only at the eleventh hour,
let him not be afraid by reason of his delay.

For the Lord is gracious and receives the last even as the first.
He gives rest to him that comes at the eleventh hour,
as well as to him that toiled from the first.
To this one He gives, and upon another He bestows.
He accepts the works as He greets the endeavor.
The deed He honors and the intention He commends.

Let us all enter into the joy of the Lord!
First and last alike receive your reward;
rich and poor, rejoice together!
Sober and slothful, celebrate the day!

You that have kept the fast, and you that have not,
rejoice today for the Table is richly laden!
Feast royally on it, the calf is a fatted one.
Let no one go away hungry. Partake, all, of the cup of faith.
Enjoy all the riches of His goodness!

Let no one grieve at his poverty,
for the universal kingdom has been revealed.
Let no one mourn that he has fallen again and again;
for forgiveness has risen from the grave.
Let no one fear death, for the Death of our Savior has set us free.
He has destroyed it by enduring it.

He destroyed Hades when He descended into it.
He put it into an uproar even as it tasted of His flesh.
Isaiah foretold this when he said,
"You, O Hell, have been troubled by encountering Him below."

Hell was in an uproar because it was done away with.
It was in an uproar because it is mocked.
It was in an uproar, for it is destroyed.
It is in an uproar, for it is annihilated.
It is in an uproar, for it is now made captive.
Hell took a body, and discovered God.
It took earth, and encountered Heaven.
It took what it saw, and was overcome by what it did not see.
O Death, where is your sting?
O Hades, where is your victory?

Christ is Risen, and you, O Death, are annihilated!
Christ is Risen, and the evil ones are cast down!
Christ is Risen, and the angels rejoice!
Christ is Risen, and life is liberated!
Christ is Risen, and the tomb is emptied of its dead;
for Christ having risen from the dead,
is become the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep.

To Him be glory and power
now and forever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

St. John Chrysostom (A.D. 347-407) was the Patriarch of Constantinople.


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Teachings of Christ

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God." (Matthew 5:9 ESV)

Scripture

March 17, 2019
Second Sunday of Great Lent - St. Gregory Palamas
- Matins: John 21:1-14 (Gospel 10)
- Liturgy: Hebrews 1:10-2:3, Mark 2:1-12 (Sunday: ), Hebrews 7:26-8:2, John 10:9-19 (St. Gregory)

Third Week of Great Lent
- Monday: Isaiah 8:13-9:7, Genesis 6:9-22, Proverbs 8:1-21
- Tuesday: Isaiah 9:9-10:4, Genesis 7:1-5, Proverbs 8:32-9:11
- Wednesday: Isaiah 10:12-20, Genesis 7:6-9, Proverbs 9:12-18
- Thursday: Isaiah 11:10-12:2, Genesis 7:11-8:3, Proverbs 10:1-22
- Friday: Isaiah 13:2-13, Genesis 8:4-21, Proverbs 10:31-11:12
- Saturday: Hebrews 10:32-38, Mark 2:14-17 (and for All Souls: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17, John 5:24-30)

March 24
Third Sunday of Great Lent: Veneration of the Holy Cross
- Matins: John 21:15-25 Gospel 11)
- Liturgy: Hebrews 4:14-5:6, Mark 8:34-9:1

March 25
Annunciation of Our Most Holy Lady, the Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary
- Vespers (Parables of the Feast): Genesis 28:10-17, Ezekiel 43:27-44:4, Proverbs 9:1-11
- Vespers: Exodus 3:1-8, Proverbs 8:22-30
- Matins: Luke 1:39-49, 56
- Liturgy: Hebrews 2:11-18, Luke 1:24-38

Fourth Week of Great Lent
- Monday: Isaiah 14:24-32, Genesis 8:21-9:7, Proverbs 11:19-12:6
- Tuesday: Isaiah 25:1-9, Genesis 9:8-17, Proverbs 12:8-22
- Wednesday: Isaiah 26:21-27:9, Genesis 9:18-10:1, Proverbs 12:23-13:9
- Thursday: Isaiah 28:14-22, Genesis 10:32-11:9, Proverbs 13:20-14:6
- Friday: Isaiah 29:13-23, Genesis 12:1-7, Proverbs 14:15-26
- Saturday: Hebrews 6:9-23, Mark 7:31-37 (and for All Souls: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17, John 5:24-30)

March 31, 2019
Fourth Sunday of Great Lent: Saint John of the Ladder
- Matins: Matthew 28:16-20 (Gospel 1)
- Liturgy: Hebrews 6:13-20, Mark 9:17-31 (and for St. John: Ephesians 5:9-19, Matthew 4:25-5:12)

Feasts & Fasts

March
3 - Forgiveness Sunday (Cheese-Fare)
4 - Beginning of the Holy Forty Days Fast
10 - First Sunday of the Great Fast (Sunday of Orthodoxy)
16 - Second All-Souls Saturday
17 - Second Sunday of the Great Fast (St. Gregory Palamas)
23 - Third All Souls Saturday
24 - Third Sunday of the Great Fast (Veneration of the Cross)
25 - Annunciation to the Mother of God
20 - Fourth All-Souls Saturday
31 - Fourth Sunday of the Great Fast (St. John of the Ladder)

Please pray!

"They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword...." (Hebrews 11:37a)

Please lift up in prayer all those who are persecuted and deprived of liberty, everywhere in the world. Please especially remember the peoples of Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Niger - the whole Middle East and Africa - who are literal martyrs for Christ. Also the peoples of Ukraine. They are our brothers, for all are one in Christ.

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Lenten Prayer of St. Ephrem

O Lord and Master of my life, drive away from me the spirit of despondency, carelessness, love of power, and idle chatter. (Prostration)

Rather grant to me, Your servant, the spirit of wholeness of being, humility, patience, and love. (Prostration)

Yes, O Lord and King, grant that I may see my own faults and not condemn my brother; for You are blessed to the ages of ages. Amen. (Prostration)

Random Proverb

"He who commits adultery lacks sense; he who does it destroys himself." (Proverbs 6:32 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Prayer is grace. God gives it when there exists zeal and humility…. Let Christ not be missing from your heart.