Epistles

Patriarchal Pascha Encyclical 2018



The Serbian Orthodox Church to her spiritual children at Pascha, 2018

+IRINEJ

By the Grace of God

Orthodox Archbishop of Pec, Metropolitan of Belgrade Karlovci and Serbian Patriarch, with all the Hierarchs of the Serbian Orthodox Church to all the clergy, monastics, and all the sons and daughters of our Holy Church: grace, mercy and peace from God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, with the joyous Paschal greeting:

Patriarchal Nativity Encyclical 2017

The Serbian Orthodox Church to her spiritual children at Christmas, 2017

+IRINEJ

By the Grace of God

Orthodox Archbishop of Pec, Metropolitan of Belgrade Karlovci and Serbian Patriarch, with all the Hierarchs of the Serbian Orthodox Church, to all the clergy, monastics, and all the sons and daughters of our Holy Church: grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, with the joyous Christmas greeting:

PEACE FROM GOD! CHRIST IS BORN!

“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;
old things have passed away;
behold, all things have become new!”

 (II Corinthians 5:17)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The foundation of God's New and Eternal Covenant was laid on this very day, the first Christmas in history. Because today, our beloved spiritual children, the preeternal God accomplished a work greater than the creation of the universe and fulfilled the promise given to our first parents, the promise that the prophets had foretold from time immemorial, and which the Most Pure, the Most Blessed and Ever-Virgin Mary accepted in peace. God the Logos became man and dwelt among men. (cf. St. John 1:14) The Son of the Heavenly Father became a contemporary of mankind so that man could become co-eternal with God. The Lord Almighty “emptied himself, taking the form of a servant” (Philippians 2:7) and became one in body with our lowliness, so that he could make us equal to the image of His glory. That is why the Godly-wise Apostle Paul elatedly said: “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past understanding!” (Romans 11:33)

Patriarchal Pascha Encyclical 2017

The Serbian Orthodox Church to her spiritual children at Pascha, 2017

+IRINEJ

By the Grace of God

Orthodox Archbishop of Pec, Metropolitan of Belgrade Karlovci and Serbian Patriarch, with all the Hierarchs of the Serbian Orthodox Church to all the clergy, monastics, and all the sons and daughters of our Holy Church: grace, mercy and peace from God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, with the joyous Paschal greeting:

Christ is Risen!

“Christ is risen from the dead,
trampling down death by death,
and upon those in the tombs bestowing life.”
(Paschal troparion)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The Resurrection of our Lord is the greatest Christian feast day. It is the feast day of faith, life and of every blessing from God. Our entire faith is in the Resurrection and the Resurrection is in our faith. The Holy Apostle Paul, the teacher of the nations, whom we unreservedly can call the greatest preacher of the Resurrection of Christ and our own, clearly said: “But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.” (I Corinthians 15:20) Faith in the Resurrection of Christ is the essence of the apostolic preaching and teaching, the foundation of the Church and of her services and theology.

Nativity Encyclical 2016

The Serbian Orthodox Church to her spiritual children at Christmas, 2016

+IRINEJ

By the Grace of God

Orthodox Archbishop of Pec, Metropolitan of Belgrade Karlovci and Serbian Patriarch, with all the Hierarchs of the Serbian Orthodox Church, to all the clergy, monastics, and all the sons and daughters of our Holy Church: grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, with the joyous Christmas greeting:

Peace from God! Christ is Born!

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!  (St. Luke 2:14)

We find ourselves, once again, before the Nativity Feast Day, before the feast day of immeasurable love of God, for today in the city of David Christ the Lord is born (cf. St. Luke 2:11), Emmanuel, which is to say, “God with us”. (St. Matthew 1:23) This great Mystery of the Incarnation of God the Logos, hidden from the beginning of the ages (cf. St. John 1:2), was first announced by the angels of God with their Christmas hymn of peace and love (cf. St. Luke 2:14). Then, they were joined by the shepherds and wise men from the east, gathering, therefore, both heaven and earth, angels and people, and all earthly nations, around the God-Child Christ in the Church of the Living God. (II Cor. 6:16)

Patriarchal Pascha Encyclical 2016

The Serbian Orthodox Church to her spiritual children at Pascha, 2016

+IRINEJ

By the Grace of God

Orthodox Archbishop of Pec, Metropolitan of Belgrade Karlovci and Serbian Patriarch, with all the Hierarchs of the Serbian Orthodox Church to all the clergy, monastics, and all the sons and daughters of our Holy Church: grace, mercy and peace from God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, with the joyous Paschal greeting:

Christ is Risen!

“Christ is risen, trampling down death and raising the dead. Rejoice, all you people!”

(Paschal Canon, Ode 9)

Let us celebrate today, dear brothers and sisters, our Lord God, “For He has visited and redeemed His people” (St. Luke 1:68) and with the light of His Resurrection He enlightens the entire universe! Let us glorify our Lord “who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised for our justification”. (Romans 4:25) Let us glorify our Lord Who, having become a man for us, has died so that by His Resurrection he could open to us doors of new life! For all of us who have been baptized into Christ, in Christ we have died to the old man, so that resurrected, reborn, renewed in Him, we can live with Him forever. (cf. Romans 6:8) Christ is risen from the dead and has become the Firstborn of the dead (cf. I Corinthians 15:20), so that we too who have died in Adam, may be made alive in Christ, becoming a new creation.

Patriarchal Nativity Enclyclical

The Serbian Orthodox Church
to her spiritual children at Christmas, 2015

+IRINEJ

By the Grace of God
Orthodox Archbishop of Pec, Metropolitan of Belgrade Karlovci and Serbian Patriarch, with all the Hierarchs of the Serbian Orthodox Church to all the clergy, monastics, and all the sons and daughters of our Holy Church: grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, with the joyous Christmas greeting:

Peace from God! Christ is Born!

"Sing to the Lord; bless His name;
Proclaim His salvation from day to day;
Declare His glory among the Gentiles,
His wonders among all peoples."

(Psalm 95 (96): 2-3)

With these words, dear brothers and sisters in Christ the Lord and our dear spiritual children, King David calls us to this Feast Day and to this festive celebration which the Lord Himself has prepared with His Birth from the Most Holy Virgin Mary in the Bethlehem cave. Two thousand years ago, the Most Holy Virgin Mary, together with the righteous Joseph, came to Bethlehem of Judea to be registered. Joseph's registering among his brothers and his kinsman served in the economy of salvation and in fulfilling the prophecy told by prophet Micah: "And you, O Bethlehem, House of Ephratha, though you are fewest in number among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to me the One to be ruler of Israel. His goings forth were from the beginning, even from everlasting." (Micah 5:1)

Patriarchal Pascha Encyclical

The Serbian Orthodox Church
to her spiritual children at Pascha, 2015

+IRINEJ

By the Grace of God

Orthodox Archbishop of Pec, Metropolitan of Belgrade Karlovci and Serbian Patriarch, with all the Hierarchs of the Serbian Orthodox Church to all the clergy, monastics, and all the sons and daughters of our Holy Church: grace, mercy and peace from God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, with the joyous Paschal greeting:
 

Christ is Risen!

“Though Thou didst descend into the grave, O Immortal One, yet didst Thou destroy the power of Hades, and didst arise as victor, O Christ God, calling to the myrrh-bearing women, rejoice, and giving peace unto Thine Apostles, O Thou Who dost grant resurrection to the fallen.”

(Paschal Kontakion)

     This song of immortality, our dear spiritual children, we sing ceaselessly during these days of our celebration of Christ’s Resurrection, which occurred, as the ancient seers of God's mysteries witnessed, on the same day of the week on which God created in the beginning - out of nothing - heaven and earth.
     On that same day, according to those same mystery-perceivers, the Lord delivered His chosen people from Egyptian slavery; hence, we call it Pascha – that is, the passing-over from slavery into freedom in the Lord through the Red Sea.