From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
GOAA - Archbishop Demetrios Easter Message
Worldwide Faith News <email@example.com>
Mon, 05 Apr 2004 13:11:15 -0700
GREEK ORTHODOX ARCHDIOCESE OF AMERICA
8-10 East 79th St. New York, NY 10021
Tel: (212) 570-3530 Fax: (212) 774-0215
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 2, 2004
ARCHBISHOP DEMETRIOS EXHORTS ORTHODOX CHRISTIANS TO
"WITNESS TO THE POWER OF THE RESURRECTION
TO TRANSFORM LIVES AND TO SAVE SOULS"
ALL CHRISTIANS WORLDWIDE CELEBRATE EASTER APRIL 11
New York, NY - PASCHA (Easter) will be celebrated by all Christian
traditions worldwide on April 11.
In his Paschal Encyclical to Orthodox Christians, His Eminence Archbishop
Demetrios, spiritual leader of 1.5 million Greek Orthodox Christians in
America and Chairman of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox
Bishops representing over 6 million Orthodox Christians in the Americas,
"As Orthodox Christians we are blessed with a beautiful Paschal tradition,
by which we properly celebrate the triumph over evil, sin, and death. We
observe the Feast of Feasts in all the splendor and glory that it is due.
?. In the midst of our joy, however, we must acknowledge that the
celebratory ethos of Pascha stands in marked contrast with the culture of
'celebration' found in our modern world.
This is why our celebration of the great and glorious Resurrection of our
Lord must radiate truth and life to the ends of the earth. ? Yes, our
observance of Pascha is a joyful commemoration of the victory of Christ,
but it is also our witness to the world of the power of the Resurrection to
transform lives and to save souls. All of humanity must see among us the
cause of true celebration. Through our worship and prayer, peoples of all
nations must hear us acknowledge Jesus Christ as both King and Lord of all
that is seen and unseen. Through our jubilant testimony, they must be
offered the invitation to partake of new life in Him, and they should see
in our continued witness and ministry throughout the year a joy that is not
sustained by the pleasures and amusements of this world but by the presence
of our Risen Lord."
Archbishop Demetrios will officiate at Holy Week services in Greek Orthodox
parishes in the metropolitan area including: Palm Sunday Liturgy at St.
Paul's Cathedral, Hempstead, NY; St. Demetrios, Jamaica, Bridegroom
Service, Sunday evening; Transfiguration Church, Corona, NY, Bridegroom
Service, Monday evening; Kimisis Tis Theotokou Church, Brooklyn, NY,
Bridegroom Service, Tuesday evening; Service of the Washing of the Feet,
Wednesday evening, St. Demetrios Cathedral, Astoria, NY; Vesperal Divine
Liturgy, St. Paul Chapel, Archdiocese, Thursday morning; Holy Passion,
Thursday evening, St. Nicholas, Flushing, NY, Good Friday Lamentations and
Epitaphios, as well as Resurrection Services Saturday, at the Archdiocesan
Cathedral of the Holy Trinity (319 East 74th St. New York City). Good
Friday services will begin at 8:00 p.m. and Resurrection Service and
Liturgy Saturday evening at 11:00 p.m.
The Resurrection Service will be broadcast live from the Archdiocesan
Cathedral of the Holy Trinity on television and the Internet from 11:30
p.m. to 1:30 a.m. On Saturday evening at 11:30 it will be carried by:
NATIONAL GREEK TELEVISION (NGTV) ?Time Warner Digital 509, ANTENNA
SATELLITE NORTH AMERICA, INTERNET: Cathedral and Archdiocese Websites 11:30
- 2:30 a.m. http://www.thecathedral.goarch.org
SERVICES OF HOLY WEEK
The centuries-old religious services which recall the Passion, Crucifixion
and Resurrection of Christ are conducted each morning and evening
throughout Holy Week in Orthodox Christian Churches of over 6 million
faithful in the Americas including, Greek, Russian, Romanian, Antiochian,
Bulgarian, Carpatho-Russian, Albanian, Serbian and Ukrainian parishes.
On PALM SUNDAY during the Divine Liturgy, palms are blessed and distributed
to the faithful commemorating Christ's entrance into Jerusalem.
On PALM SUNDAY EVENING, as well as on the evenings of Holy Monday, Tuesday,
and Wednesday, the faithful gather for the Nymphios or Bridegroom
Services that include readings, hymns, and commemorations that
anticipate the Passion of Christ.
On HOLY WEDNESDAY, the faithful are anointed with the Sacrament of Holy
Unction, blessed oil, which cleanses, renews and strengthens both
spiritually and physically.
On HOLY THURSDAY MORNING, a Divine Liturgy is held and communion given in
commemoration of the institution of the Eucharist by Christ.
On HOLY THURSDAY EVENING, the Service of Holy Passion takes place, during
which the Twelve Lessons of the Gospel are read. After the Fifth Gospel
a solemn litany begins. A large crucifix is carried in a procession led
by the clergy as the mournful hymn of Crucifixion is sung.
On GOOD FRIDAY AFTERNOON, the Vespers of the Descent from the Cross-are
offered. The Body of Christ is taken down from the Cross, wrapped in
white linen and is prepared for burial.
On GOOD FRIDAY EVENING, the Lamentations are sung during the Epitaphios
Service, which symbolizes the burial of Christ.
On HOLY SATURDAY EVENING, the Easter Resurrection Service begins with
Matins at 11 p.m. At midnight, the Church is completely darkened and
the faithful wait in joyous expectation for the Bishop or priest to
come forth carrying a white candle, chanting, "Come, Receive the Light,
the Light of the Resurrection". The light is passed to the
congregation until the Church is aglow with candlelight. A procession
of altar boys, choir, chanters and clergy joined by the people move
outdoors where the Gospel proclaiming the Resurrection of Christ is
read. The triumphant hymn, "Christos Anesti, Christ is Risen" is
joyfully sung by the faithful. At the conclusion of the Resurrection
Liturgy, red Easter eggs are distributed to the congregation, which
symbolize the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
On EASTER SUNDAY, the Vespers of AGAPE (Love) is celebrated during which
the Holy Gospel narrating the appearance of the Risen Lord to His
disciples is read in several languages emphasizing the universality of
the Gospel message.
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