THE SERBIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH TO HER SPIRITUAL CHILDREN AT PASCHA, 2014
I R I N E J
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, MONASTICSS, 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! INDEED HE IS RISEN!
Today is the Spring-time of our souls,
For coming forth from the tomb,
Christ shines like the sun, Dispelling the gloom of our sins!
We will sing out to Him, for gloriously has He been glorified!
(Paschal service hymn)
When an early spring arrives after a long and cold winter, all of nature and God's creation rejoices in the sun and its warm rays and energy which illuminates and warms everything and all things without exception. Everything then glorifies the Lord, the Giver of sun and spring. So do we, dear brothers and sisters and our dear spiritual children, after a cold and terrible winter of sin, especially after the killing of the God-Man Jesus Christ on Holy Friday on Golgotha, seeing today the Resurrected Christ, do we joyfully exclaim and sing: Today is the Spring-time of our souls! Christ – the Sun of life from the East – has risen and shone from the tomb. He has expelled a dark storm of our sins! Him let us magnify for He has been glorified! That is why we are joyful today, that is why together with the angels in heaven and with all people of this world do we gloriously sing: Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life.
The Serbian Orthodox Church to her spiritual children at Christmas, 2013
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!
“I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.
For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, Who is Christ the Lord”
(St. Luke 2:10-11)
With these words, dear brothers and sisters, our dear spiritual children, the angel of the Lord appears to shepherds in Bethlehem and delivers to them the great joy that Christ the Lord and Savior is born. Despite the great fear they felt because of the angel’s appearance among them, they were illuminated by the glory of the Lord. The angel also announces this same great joy of the all-joyous Feast of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ to us who are gathered in the holy churches, in our homes, in the hospitals and other establishments, those who are on the roads and work places. Knowing this, instead of fear and wonder, let us rejoice and be glad, together with all the heavenly powers, and let us submit ourselves to the glory of the Lord! May it fill and completely overtake us all as once it did the shepherds in Bethlehem of Judea!
THE SERBIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH
TO HER SPIRITUAL CHILDREN
AT PASCHA, 2013
I R I N E J
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 CLERGY, MONASTICS, ADN 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! INDEED HE IS RISEN!
“For you will not leave my soul in Sheol,
nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.”
True, indeed, is this word of God’s prophet by which he announces the radiant feast of Christ Resurrection, this feast of great Christian joy and spiritual celebration. If there is a day among all days for celebration, that is today — the day we celebrate the Resurrection of Christ our God. Thanks to this holy day, all the days of mankind — from the beginning to the end of the world — receive their true meaning, and all that has happened in those days and is happening receives its proper meaning. If there is an event to which Christianity can be narrowed down, then that event truly is the Resurrection of Christ. If there is a feast to which all feasts can be narrowed down, then again, that is the Resurrection of Christ. That is why the Church calls the feast day of Christ’s Resurrection the Feast of Feasts; and in the Church we sing: This is the day the Lord has made! Let us rejoice and be glad in it! (Psalm 118:24).
THE SERBIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH
TO HER SPIRITUAL CHILDREN AT CHRISTMAS 2012
+ I R I N E J
BY THE GRACE OF GOD ARCHBISHOP OF PEC, METROPOLITAN OF BELGRADE KARLOVCI AND SERBIAN PATRIARCH, WITH ALL THE HIERARCHS OF THE SERBIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH TO ALL THE CLERGY, MONASTRICS,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!
"Rejoice O ye righteous, rejoice O heaven, dance O mountains for Christ is born…”
(Hymn from the Nativity of our Lord Matins, tone four)
The Nativity of our Lord brings to us joyous and wonderful news that the Son of God became Man, the God-Man Jesus Christ. With His Incarnation, the prophesy of Saint Isaiah the prophet has been fulfilled: “Lo, the Virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call his name Emanuel, which is translated: “God is with us”. (Matthew 1:23; Isaiah 7:14) From that day until the end of the age, God is with us and we belong to Him. The Son of God has descended to earth, and man has ascended to heaven. Everything has been united. Angels sing with men and men participate in the angelic life. Saint John Chrysostom called Christmas the mother of all feasts, and contemplating the Birth of God in awe as a wondrous mystery, he glorifies it by saying: “I look upon an astounding mystery. Shepherds’ voices I hear in my ears. Angels and archangels sing, seraphim glorify, they all participate in the Feast, looking upon God on earth, and upon man in heaven. They look upon God, Who is in heaven, as upon Him Who is the Cause of His own descent to earth. They look upon man, who is on earth, and see how through God’s love for mankind he dwells in heaven.” God without body puts on flesh; the Invisible becomes visible, He Who is unapproachable becomes approachable, the Timeless one receives a beginning, the Son of God becomes the Son of man. This manifestation of God in our world and our life is the beginning of our own entrance into God’s world. And so, the meaning of Christmas is in the reality that God came to people so that they may come closer to Him.
The Serbian Orthodox Church
to her spiritual children
at Pascha, 2012
By the grace of God
Orthodox Archbishop of Pec, Metropolitan of Belgrade-Karlovci and Serbian Patriarch, with the 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!
”This is the day which the Lord made;
Let us rejoice, and be glad in it”!
The Resurrection of Christ our Savior is, dear brothers and sisters and all our spiritual children throughout the inhabited world, “The Feast of Feasts, the celebration above all celebrations” – the Miracle above all miracles and the Gift above all gifts, which All-Mighty God, in His immeasurable mercy and love, has given to mankind. In this Gift are found all gifts; in this Blessing are found all blessings – as here on earth, so also in heaven (cf. Ephesians 1:3).