To the Venerable Pastors, God-loving Monastics and Devout Faithful of the Orthodox Church in
Dearly Beloved in the Lord:
Christ is Risen!
Together with those who came before the dawn with Mary, we have come to that first day of the
week and have found the stone rolled away from the sepulcher. With astonishment, we ponder
the question of the Angel: “Why do you seek among the dead, as though He were mortal man,
Him who abides in everlasting light?” And with wonder, we behold the grave-clothes lying in
the empty tomb as a powerful sign of the reality of the resurrection of Christ, the Conqueror of
Like the Myrrhbearers and the Apostles who ran to the sepulcher, all of us have taken a journey
from the darkness and confusion of this world to the light and truth of the resurrection. We have
sailed across the great sea of the Fast, asking the Lord to take from us sloth, despair, lust for
power and idle talk so that we might replace them with love for Christ, compassion for our
fellow human beings and care for all creation. We have been pilgrims with the Lord through the
barrenness of His life-giving Passion and have tasted the wonder that is the “universally
nourishing work of the Cross” (St Timothy of Antioch).
Now, we are renewed with an apostolic zeal that finds its source both in the Cross and the empty
tomb, and receives its fulfillment in the grace-filled work undertaken by the twelve Apostles as
they divided among themselves the preaching of the Resurrection to the ends of the world. We
are reminded that we are all, within the holy Church, on what St Herman of Alaska calls a
“pilgrimage of the apostolic word,” and that at every moment of that pilgrimage, we need to
measure ourselves against Christ, and against those who, through martyrdom, through asceticism
and through missionary labors, have shown themselves to be witnesses to the power of the lifecreating
cross of Christ and to the glory of His Kingdom.
Today we make a commitment to Our Lord and His Holy Church to fight the good fight of faith,
and to continue our journey on the path of righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness and
gentleness (1 Timothy 6:11-12). As we rejoice today in the victory over death, and continue on
our pilgrimage, being transformed from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18), let us remember that
regardless of the path our pilgrimage takes us on, we are all called to be Apostles and witnesses
of our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ.
Therefore, let us take up the challenge of the Angel offered to those who stood at the empty
tomb, and together with the Apostles, the Martyrs, the Ascetics and the Missionaries, let us Go
quickly and proclaim to the world that the Lord is risen and has slain death; for He is the Son of
God, who saves the race of man.
May the grace that today shines forth so abundantly from the tomb sustain our joy and provide
the light for our holy pilgrimage leading us to the life of the world to come.
With love in the risen Lord,
Archbishop of Washington
Metropolitan of All America and Canada