Epistles

Nativity Encyclical of the Serbian Orthodox Church

TheSerbian Orthodox Church

toher spiritual children at Christmas, 2008

PAVLE

By the Grace of God

Orthodox Archbishop of Pec, Metropolitan of Belgrade-Karlovciand Serbian Patriarch, with all the Hierarchs of the Serbian Orthodox Church toall 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 theHoly Spirit, with the joyous Christmas greeting:

Peace from God! Christ is Born!

Everyyear, dear spiritual children, and so it is this year as well,we anticipate and welcome Christmas, the birthday of the Son ofGod, with joy, faith, hope and love. Why? Because it is in this event that the"fullness of time" was fulfilled, and so God the Father, "gave His onlybegotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but haveeverlasting life" (John 3:16). This event is the fulfillment of all cosmologicaland historical events: everything that had happened in God's creation andmankind's history received in that day "which the Lord had made" itsfulfillment and realization. The entry of God into the innermost part of liferepresents, also, a fulfillment of all of mankind's deepest yearnings asattested and proclaimed in all earthly nations before the birth of Christ. WithHis birth, the light of the knowledge of God shone forth. In that Divine lightthe meaning of the world, nature, and the ultimate goal of man's existence andthe existence of all creatures, both visible and invisible, was revealed to us.

The Serbian Orthodox Church to her spiritual children at Pascha, 2008


P A V L E

By the grace of God
Orthodox Archbishop of Pec, Metropolitan of Belgrade-Karlovci and Serbian Patriarch, with 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!

THE SERBIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH TO HER SPIRITUAL CHILDREN AT PASCHA, 2007

P A V L E

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!

"This is the day of resurrection.
Let us be illumined, O people.
Pascha, the Pascha of the Lord.
For from death to life and from earth to heaven
has Christ our God led us."
(The Canon of Pascha, Ode I)

With these verses of the Paschal hymn, dear spiritual children, we, the believing people of God, begin the Celebration above all celebrations, song above all songs, about the Event above all events - The Resurrection of Christ. The Resurrection, like the Crucifixion, is a stumbling block for the Jews and foolishness for the Greeks, but we experience and celebrate it as the deepest experience of our faith and life. This is the experience which was first encountered by the holy myrrh-bearing women and the holy apostles, which they have graciously passed down to us and which we have received with faith, with the faith that becomes the power of life.