Tuesday, April 22, 2014

50 Days of Easter - Day 3


Spend some time meditating with the magnificent Paschal Homily of St. John Chrysostom. This is read during the Paschal liturgy in Byzantine Catholic and Orthodox Churches.

Here's a taste:
He that was taken by death has annihilated it!
He descended into Hades and took Hades captive!
He embittered it when it tasted His flesh! And anticipating this, Isaiah exclaimed: "Hades was embittered when it encountered Thee in the lower regions".
It was embittered, for it was abolished!
It was embittered, for it was mocked!
It was embittered, for it was purged!
It was embittered, for it was despoiled!
It was embittered, for it was bound in chains!

Read the rest here.

Apparently, according to my Eastern friends, during the liturgy, when the priest reads the "it was embittered" lines, the people respond, "It was embittered!"
O death, where is thy sting?
O Hades, where is thy victory?
Christ is risen, and you are overthrown!
Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen!
Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice!
Christ is risen, and life reigns!
Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in a tomb!
Finally, a great flow-chart of the homily at this blog by an Orthodox priest.  

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