Orthodox Easter celebration in Seychelles

The Orthodox faithful in Seychelles celebrated the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ on Sunday, 15th of April, in a service at the conference room in Berjaya Beau Vallon hotel.

The divine liturgy was celebrated by Seychelles’ first Orthodox priest, Father Sergios (Janosevic) and archdeacon Father Simon-Petros (Nellist), both of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa.

This year for Easter Liturgy we had more faithful than ever, almost all received Holy Communion. Among many children we welcomed wit lit candle, one year old baby- girl Irina, who had her first Holy Communion.

The liturgy was attended by the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Seychelles, Mikhail Kalinin as well as Seychellois, Russian, Ukrainian, Greek, Serbian, Bulgarian, Ethiopian and Egyptian faithful living in Seychelles, and a number of Russian tourists spending their Easter holiday in the islands.

“Let all of you then enter into the joy of our Lord. The first and second enjoy your reward….All of you enjoy the banquet of faith. All of you enjoy the richness of His goodness,” said Father Sergios during the Catechetical Homily of St John, the Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople.

The victory of the Resurrection of Christ was then proclaimed.

“Let no one grieve over sins for forgiveness has dawned from the tomb. Let no one fear death; for the Death of our Saviour has set us free. He has destroyed it by enduring it.”

Father Simon-Petros, who is British, and formerly worked for many years in Seychelles, was ordained an archdeacon in 2010. With the blessing of His Eminence, Archbishop Dimitrios of Tanzania and Seychelles, Father Simon-Petros came to assist in the Paschal celebration, and conveyed good wishes from His Eminence to the faithful in Seychelles. During the liturgy father read the Easter message from the  Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa Theodoros II, who spoke of the need for peace between religions, especially in the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa.

“Christ is risen! The joyous announcement of the Resurrection of Our Lord finds the Middle East, the place where God as Creator communed with man, still struggling with great sacrifices to look for justice, the eye of God on Earth, said the message of Patriarch Theodoros II.

The Patriarch’s message also lamented the spread of religious fundamentalism and the  violence that it spreads, together with the lack of tolerance between different religious groups in Africa.

It is time for everyone to realize that a multicultural society essentially means a multi-religious society. In this society, peace is not possible without peace between religions. And peace between religions cannot exist without dialogue between religions. If someone think that real peace of religions, as an essential factor for world peace, is an illusion, they have only to consider that they doubt the almighty will of Gog to reveal the human race in its genuine dimensions, to place the human race on its authentic pedestal; the almighty will of God which was factually certified by the incarnation and Resurection of the Son and Word of God so that the human race be redeemed from spiritual death; said the Patriarch.

After the Liturgy, the faithful joined together for festive celebrations at the Coral Strand Hotel that were sponsored by the establishment, with many traditional Russian specialties and refreshments served. All faithful stayed long hours together talking in joyous Easter mood.

Christ is Risen , indeed He is Risen !

Father Sergios (Janosevic)