Paschal Appeal 2015
Hypakoe: When at dawn, the women with Mary came and found the stone rolled away from the sepulcher, they heard from the angel: Why seek among the dead (as if He were a mortal man) Him Who lives in everlasting light? Behold the grave-clothes. Run and tell the world that the Lord is risen, and has slain death. For He is the Son of God Who saves mankind.
(From Paschal Matins)
Dearly Beloved Reverend Fathers, Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
CHRIST IS RISEN!
When we walk around the church in procession on Pascha before midnight, we represent the Holy Myrrh-Bearers, who were the first to find the empty tomb of Christ and receive the joyful news from an angel in shining white garments that He is risen from the dead. Great joy came upon these Myrrh-Bearers as they received this angelic announcement, and it is this very same joy which we all annually experience on Pascha. Who were these Myrrh-Bearers? They were women who were dedicated in service to Our Lord, and who served him with all that they had, withholding nothing. With great risk to their lives, they ventured out on that very first Pascha, early in the morning to anoint Jesus’ body to find the tomb empty. Their roles were one of selfless service to Christ, and the same can be said of our Holy Righteous Father John of Kronstadt, whose life was one of endless service to Our Saviour and to all people whom he encountered and whoever approached him for help, spiritual and material. What can we say about ourselves in this regard? Most of us receive many blessings from God in the abundance of the good things we all enjoy in life. We have our church, our families and friends, and have been blessed to be materially content, even though we may at times face material struggles which occasionally arise, but for the most part, God sees to our daily needs as is conducive to our salvation. But what about others who have much less than we do? Let us remember that all that we have are gifts of God to use for a better purpose, and a great part of that is to help others in need. That is the reason why our St. John of Kronstadt Memorial Fund has existed over 60 years, and why it is important to keep our efforts going: to reach out to those in need worldwide throughout our Orthodox communities. It is only with your help that this can continue to be accomplished. Please do not be indifferent to the plight of those in need. Every donation you send is put to good use in helping the poor and needy. Please join us in helping the less fortunate than ourselves. What better way to give gratitude to Almighty God for all that He does for us every second of our lives? Please respond with your hearts, and join us in this service to Our Lord and to our brothers and sisters in need.
May Our Risen Saviour bless you and all your loved ones during Great Lent and Pascha.
With much love in Our Risen Lord,
Archpriest Michael Taratuchin,
Vice-President of the St. John of Kronstadt Memorial Fund and Rector of the St. John of Kronstadt Memorial Church in Utica, New York, USA.