Deisis (Novogorod)

Easter Pastoral Letter of the Ukrainian Catholic Hierarcy of the USA

TO OUR CLERGY, HIEROMONKS AND BROTHERS, RELIGIOUS SISTERS, SEMINARIANS AND BELOVED FAITHFUL

Xpuctoc Bockpec!   Christ is Risen!

We joyfully sing, “Christ is Risen from the dead, trampling death by death, and to those in the tombs giving life”.  Our joyful proclamation fills us with hope!

Grasp in awe the significance of the words spoken by the angel to the myrrh-bearing women who went to the tomb early on Easter morning to anoint Jesus’ body: “Why look for the living among the dead?  You won’t find Him here. He is Risen!” (Lk 24:5-6).  Love is the victor.  Death is not the end.  The end is life, His life and our lives through Him, in Him.  Our existence has depths of beauty, mystery, and blessings more than the wildest visionary had ever dared to dream.  Christ our Lord has Risen!

 

The Risen Christ told the two disciples on the road to Emmaus to have courage assuring them that Jesus Christ had overcome the world.  We should not be afraid of surpassing our barriers of seeking and living the Good News.  We are called to be life-giving.  We are called to live as Easter people – people of hope.  Hope calls us to go beyond ourselves, to go broke with our personalities as followers and believers in the Risen Christ!  Christ’s resurrection is mirrored in our life when we courageously work for our salvation and for the salvation of others because we desire everyone to be with God.  The peace of the Risen Christ will be with us.

The Risen Christ instructed the myrrh-bearing women to tell his apostles to gather at Galilee where He will see them (Mt 28:10).  The Risen Christ is with us as we gather in our churches to give praise, glory and thanksgiving to God, and where we receive the blessing, “Peace be with you” (Jn 20:19).

We, your hierarchs of our Ukrainian Catholic Church in USA, pray that you may enjoy a holy, hope-filled, joyful and blessed Easter.  May our Lord’s victory over sin and death, and His promise of peace and eternal life be yours!  May you know the peace extended to all by the Risen Christ.  May you grow in your love for the Risen Christ and your zealous service of Him.

God grant you much joy and contentment, abundance of good health, and the assurance of new life in Him as we together proclaim that Christ is Risen!

Christ is Risen!       Indeed He is Risen!


+Stefan Soroka  (author)
Archbishop of Philadelphia for Ukrainians
Metropolitan of Ukrainian Catholics in the United States

+Paul Chomnycky, OSBM
Eparch of Stamford

+ Bohdan J. Danylo
Eparch of St. Josaphat in Parma

+John Bura
Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia

Very Rev. Richard Janowicz, Apostolic Administrator
St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy in Chicago

Easter 2017


Teachings of Christ

“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26 ESV)

Transfiguration

You were transfigured on the mountain, O Christ God, * showing Your glory to Your Disciples as far as they were able to bear it. * Through the prayers of the Mother of God, * let Your everlasting Light shine also upon us sinners. * O Giver of Light, glory to You! (Troparion, Tone 7)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Upon the mountain You were transfigured, O Christ God, * and Your Disciples beheld Your glory as far as they could receive it, * so that when they would see You crucified, * they would understand that You suffered willingly; * and they would preach to the world * that You are truly the radiance of the Father. (Kontakion, Tone 7)

Dormition

O Mother of God, in giving birth you preserved virginity; * and in falling asleep you did not forsake the world. * You are the Mother of Life and have been transferred to life, * and through your prayers you deliver our souls from death. (Troparion - Tone 1)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Neither the tomb nor death could detain the Mother of God, * who is unsleeping in her prayers and our unfailing hope in her intercession; * for He Who dwelt in her ever-virgin womb, * transferred to Life the Mother of Life. (Kontakion - Tone 2)

Random Proverb

"Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest." (Proverbs 6:6-8 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Monasticism itself is a perpetual labor of conquering passions and uprooting them in order that, being in a pure and immaculate state, one may preserve oneself before the face of God. This, then, is your task! Give your attention to it, and direct all your powers towards it.

St. Theophan the Recluse