Today is the Feast of Apodosis of Pascha. It is the final day of celebration of the Glorious Resurrection of Our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ. It is the last day to say and sing Christ is Risen! By the end of today, we will have to wait until May 5, 2024, to sing again. But it doesn’t really end.
Just because we stop singing Christ is Risen, doesn’t mean it is no longer true. Just because we no longer stand in Church holding lit candles, doesn’t mean we don’t have the Holy Light of Christ. Just because we fast again, doesn’t mean we don’t remember the joy of the resurrection. Just because it all stops liturgically, doesn’t mean it isn’t all still true.
The Church has established a way of life for us to never forget Pascha. Every Sunday, we sing a hymn of resurrection in Church. It might not be ‘the’ Christ is Risen, but it is the joy of Pascha every Sunday. Every Sunday we hear a Gospel story of the resurrected Christ during Orthros. It might not be ‘the’ resurrection story, but it is still an encounter with the resurrected Christ.
As we transition back to our normal liturgical cycle, watch for clues of the resurrection. Listen to the prayers of the priest more intently for words of joy in the resurrected Christ. Just because we don’t say the words every day, doesn’t mean the words are still not true.
The Church has great love for her people. The daily and weekly cycle of prayers and services are designed to help us keep focused on the joy and grace of God’s saving work. Now the hard work of staying focused begins. It is up to you, with the help of the Church, to remain focused.
You can do it. Just remember that Christ is STILL Risen, no matter if we sing the hymn or not. Spend time reading the stories of the saints. You will hear in their faith the reminder of the resurrection of Christ. You will see in their sacrifice the truth of God’s power. Allow their stories to inspire you to a deeper faith.
For today, we sing one final time. If you can, stop in Church today to light a candle and sing Christ is Risen. If you can’t go to Church, stand in front of your home altar, and thank God for His saving grace. This evening and tomorrow the Church turns the page and celebrates the triumphant return of Christ to His Throne in Heaven, His Glorious Ascension.
Just remember this. He could only ascend because He first descended, was born, was crucified, and was resurrected! Every celebration of Christ is a celebration of His Resurrection.
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