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Pascha (Easter)

Pascha Icon

Having beheld the resurrection of Christ, let us worship the holy Lord Jesus, the only Sinless One. We worship Thy cross, O Christ, and Thy holy Resurrection we hymn and glorify; for Thou art our God, and we know none other beside Thee, and we call upon Thy name. O come, all ye faithful, let us worship Christ's holy Resurrection, for behold, through the Cross joy hath come to all the world. Ever blessing the Lord, we hymn His Resurrection; for, having endured crucifixion, He hath destroyed death by death.

Христос Воскрес! Воістину Воскрес!
Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen!

Icon Reflection
Christ is Risen,” is the Gospel proclamation. All four Gospels are silent on the manner of Christ’s Resurrection. Nowhere in Scripture is there a factual account of the event, but rather it expresses what occurred before or after the Resurrection.Two Icons depict this mystery of the Resurrection, the Descent into Hades and the Myrrh-Bearing Women. The more familiar one is the Icon of the Descent into Hades. In it, Christ is seen trampling the gates of Hades, taking Adam and Eve by the hands and drawing them to life.
Patriarch Sviatoslav celebrating Pascha in KyivOur Lord’s entrance into Hades, (depths of the earth) transforms it. Through death He entered the realm of Hades which in the Icon is shown by the black abyss. Christ’s presence in Hades showed that He took upon Himself every humiliation and sin of mankind. He is shown as a conqueror with a radiant halo, the symbol of glory. His garments are brilliant, filling the darkness with the light of His divine presence. He stands upon the broken gate of the kingdom of death, thus indicating His victory over death by His own death and resurrection. Through His humiliation and death, He raised all creation to participate in Divine Life.
Bolts, broken chains, and keys are scattered about to signify the freeing of those held captive and the breaking of death’s hold over men. By Christ’s descent, Hades is destroyed and its gates trampled. Having broken the bonds of death’s power, Christ is seen raising Adam and Eve from the grave. In freeing our first parents, Christ also frees those who put their faith in His coming.

“The Resurrection is an earthquake for the Faithful, a cause of dread for the ignorant; for the Faithful because the sluggish body bestirs itself from the sleep of death, for the ignorant because, disturbed by the trembling of the body and the movement of the earth, they depart from faith and belief in the Resurrection.”


- By Saint Ambrose of Milan