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Patriarchal proclamation on Holy Pascha, 2005


By the Grace of God, Archbishop of Constantinople,
New Rome, and Ecumenical Patriarch
To the plenitude of the Church
Grace, Peace, and Mercy
From Christ the Saviour, Risen in Glory

Beloved brother and children in the Lord,

Christ is Risen!

It is with great joy that we address you once again with the Resurrectional greeting "Christ is Risen!"

This greeting incorporates and heralds the substantive content of our Christian faith: "We celebrate Death's death". This message continues to be unique and daring even in our times, for, despite the two thousand years that have elapsed since the birth of the Resurrected Jesus Christ, humanity did not love life in the same way Jesus Christ honoured it.

Unfortunately, murderous tendencies are widely spread. People obliterate their competitors in order to prevail. Murderers kill in order to rob or destroy incriminating evidence. Terrorists kill in order to force nations and governments to accept their demands. Ideologues take lives in order to facilitate the prevailing of their ideology. Nations clash for reasons of racial dominance and thousands of people are killed from all opposing sides, because of the lack of spirit of conciliation and peaceful settlement. Fanatics murder the ones that do not share in their fanaticism. Believers of one faith sometimes kill others who represent a different faith. Ruthless people kill in order to satisfy their bloodthirsty instincts. Some commit suicide because they consider as unbearable burden the divine gift of life. In general, murderous acts, which are condemned by all humanity and God, tend to become an acceptable reality and a legitimate means for the accomplishment of certain goals that are unacceptably placed above human life.

In the midst of this abundance of blood shedding, there appears the leader and giver of life, Who was murdered by humanity, trumpeting to all that murderous acts are not signs of success. He heralds that resurrection and judgment awaits us all, and that life is stronger than death, and that the ones who build their edifices upon the death of their fellow human beings labour in vain. Our resurrected Lord Jesus Christ confirmed through His Resurrection His message that He is the way, the truth and the life. Also, He confirmed that God did not create death, nor He takes pleasure in the loss of life (Wisdom 1:13). For while God created everything to last eternally, death entered the world because of the impiety of people. The love of God, though, not being able to tolerate the predominance of death over human beings comes to the rescue of humanity and remedies the ills of human sin.

He was incarnated, assumed mortal flesh and willingly suffered death on the cross, but came back to life, on His own power, stronger than death, becoming, thus, the forerunner of all who want to return to life along side with Him. First born among the dead, first of the resurrected, giver of life and life after death, abolished the bearer of death. Contemporary man is so familiar with the catastrophic evil of humanity that he does not always understand the joy and depth of the Resurrection, the restitution and eternal life that our resurrected Lord Jesus Christ has given us. The people, though, that foretaste and recognize the joy arising from the Resurrection feel exultation upon saying "Christ is Risen". Today, we, the Orthodox Christians celebrate along with the people who experience this joy of the Resurrection of the Lord and address one another with the victorious greeting "Christ is Risen!"

Holy Easter 2005
+ Patriarch of Constantinople
fervent intercessor of all
before Risen Christ
Protocol No. 335

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