“Paschal greeting of Bishop Longin”

“Come on this auspicious day of the Resurrection, let us partake of the fruit of the new vine of divine gladness of the kingdom of Christ, praising Him as God unto the ages.” (Ode VIII of the Paschal Canon)

Christ is Risen!

Every year, we hear this festive greeting, which for us Christians is never old and always fitting. Having participated in the suffering of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ through our common prayer in the Divine Services of Holy Passion Week, we come to this joyous Feast of feasts with gladness and a sense of relief. This is because we specifically now, in the present, experience Christ’s Resurrection from the dead and His conquering of death – something that was not only relevant to Christ Himself or to the people of two millennia ago, but rather to each and everyone of us, as He thereby resurrects us from the darkness of sin and eternal death. He gives us life that is unending and all encompassing. He brings us into this everlasting communion with Him by allowing us to partake of the fruit of the new vine, that is by partaking in His most-precious Body and Blood through the reception of the Holy Mysteries, a remembrance of His death and resurrection.

Let us, dear brothers and sisters, take this opportunity of the Lord’s Resurrection to unite with Him by receiving Divine Communion, having prepared ourselves through fasting, prayer and repentance. Let us heed the words of the great father of the Church, St. John Chrysostom, who invites all Orthodox Christians to partake in the Mystery of Holy Communion on the day of the Lord’s Resurrection – Pascha. Let us repent in our hearts of our sins and transgressions, and receive the King of Glory into us, so that by Him we may enter into the Kingdom of Christ. And, let us partake more regularly, remembering that having received Holy Communion, the life of our very own St. Mardarije was extended in order for him to longer serve God and our people in this world.

May our Resurrected Lord grant peace, health and spiritual joy to all of you and your families, uniting all of us through the Holy Mysteries, and granting us oneness of mind and heart.

Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!

Your intercessor before the Resurrected Christ,

+ L O N G I N

Bishop of New Gracanica and Midwestern America