Bishop Longin Pascha Encyclical 2017
“Thy Resurrection, O Christ Savior, the angels in the heavens sing; enable us on earth to glorify Thee in purity of heart.” -Resurrectional Aposticha, Tone 6
Christ’s Resurrection from the dead, dear brothers and sisters, truly enables us to glorify God with pure hearts, because it is precisely His arising that has cleansed us. It has taken away all of the darkness from the world around us and within us. In order for our complete purification, we must cling to the Resurrection, confessing it to be our renewal and passing from death unto life. We give glory to God that we have the examples of the Apostles, Fathers of the Church and all the Saints that bring us to this understanding and transition.
We in America are ever so blessed that we have one that came before us that lived the Resurrection, conveying it to our Serbian people that came to this country and to all nations. He is St. Mardarije, the first Serbian Bishop of America and Canada. Through the Lord’s conquering of death, he was victorious in his own spiritual life, becoming closer to Him by teaching the Faith to his flock. In this joy of the Resurrection, we give honor and show love to God’s newly-revealed Saint. In just three short months from now, we will celebrate his Pan-Orthodox Glorification at our St. Sava Monastery in Libertyville along with our Patriarch Irinej of Serbia. I call upon all of you to take part in this celebration, both in your participation and spiritual preparation for the event. In so doing, we will all experience the joy of our Lord’s Resurrection through the testimony of it by our very own St. Mardarije.
May the Resurrected Lord grant joy, peace and health to all of you as we celebrate His Pascha, through the prayers of St. Mardarije. Let us all be together in July so that we may sing in purity of heart with the angels in heaven by giving glory to the Resurrected Lord and His Saint.
Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!
+L O N G I N
Bishop of New Gracanica and Midwestern America
*Pascha (Пасха) literally means Passover and is the proper term for the feast of Christ’s Resurrection, as opposed to the word “Easter” that is used in the West.