In this email
Message from Fr Alexander — Christ is risen!
Paschal message of Metropolitan Silouan
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Live stream information — Pascha
News of Future Services
Saints and Feasts
Offer of help
If Christ is risen, nothing else matters.
And if Christ is not risen, nothing else matters.
— Jaroslav Pelikan
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!
It is with great joy that I greet you on this most holy of days. Christ is risen! This is our hope, this is our joy, this is the centre of our Faith.
It is our calling, our vocation, to proclaim this message to the world. Christ is risen and we no longer fear death or disease, Christ is risen and we have been set free, Christ is risen and we have life.
In these difficult days let the sureness of the Resurrection keep you steadfast in the Faith. Pray, because Christ is risen! Sing, because Christ is risen! Have hope, because Christ is risen! Let these words be on your lips when you rise and when you go to bed, when you greet one another and when you are alone, before you eat and before you do any task: because in Christ’s rising our lives have meaning, in Christ’s rising history has meaning, in Christ’s rising life has meaning.
Christ is risen! May the light of the Resurrection shine in your hearts today and always.
Paschal Message of Sayidna Silouan
Our Archbishop, Metropolitan Silouan, issued the following encyclical for Pascha from London.
Christ is risen!
We use this statement, this and every year, to declare our victory over death.
This year, despite this cry of victory, our joy is mixed with sadness and pain as the whole world is afflicted.
As a result of the spread of this deadly pandemic, many people have become ill, some have died, and many are risking their lives working in hospitals to protect us. Meanwhile, the Church continuously prays to God to keep this pandemic away from the entire world.
We will not talk about the causes of this pandemic; we will leave the causes and methods of treatment to the experts because whatever we say, we have not the expertise to find solutions to get rid of it.
However, we must admit that this virus has made us see many positive aspects in our lives. Such as:
- Recognising that we need divine aid in staving off the danger that surrounds us.
- Remembering that God has a role in our lives.
- Allowing our homes (in which the Lord has missed hearing our rejoicing and prayers) to become small churches in which we can pray and serve.
- Our disjointed and isolated families have now reunited, become closer, and now converse with each other, debate and pray together. The result is our homes are places of vibrant love and joy.
Dear fathers, Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Let us transform our prayers into a daily Easter, and our hearts a tomb, from which the God of all will be resurrected.
Let us reflect on ourselves and repent of the sins that we have committed towards God, towards one another, and towards nature.
Let us draw closer to God not only through communion, “which has become a habit among some of us,” but through continuous prayer, strengthening God’s presence in our hearts, and purifying us from our sins.
Let us learn from our many saints, led by Saint Mary the Egyptian, who repented from her sins and lived forty seven years in the desert without seeing anyone or receiving the holy gifts, but at the end, receiving the forgiveness and grace of the Lord and became a great saint in our church.
Symeon the New Theologian says: “The holy readings that we deliver every Sunday and at Easter does not say ‘As we believed in the resurrection of Christ,” but “As we have seen the resurrection of Christ, let us bow down to the Holy Lord” ’… because the resurrection of Christ really takes place in the soul of each and every believer individually, and that not once, but at every hour.”
The Resurrection is a personal salvation, a heavenly and earthly joy, for we are the people of the resurrection, and because of that we have no fear at all.
Spiritual warfare is always with the forces of darkness, but the only victory over it comes through faith in the Resurrection.
If Easter is not to be celebrated in our Church buildings, let us remember that every encounter with Christ in prayer is Easter, and whenever we call His Name, we receive the same grace. And if we are deprived of the Divine Liturgy, we are not deprived of the Lord, because we have His Name, His Word, and His Gospel. And if His Word dwells in us, we will always have His Grace, because His words are the words of eternal life. (John 6:68)
I rejoice with every submissive heart, and bent knee, praying for the salvation of this world because the prayer of the righteous is so powerful.
With joy I greet all of you with the Paschal greeting, full of love and faith, that brings salvation, wishing you good health and holiness.
Christ is risen! He is Risen Indeed.
God bless you all.
+ Silouan, Metropolitan of the British Isles and Ireland
You may watch this address as a video from Sayidna by clicking here.
We should follow government advice whenever we can. We are not being asked to give up or deny our Faith, but many are being told to stay socially isolated and this will last, perhaps, for many months.
How can you respond? Pray. We pray because we love and because we know the power of prayer. We pray not as a last resort but as a first response.
Is there anything you need or anything you can offer? Let me know — my telephone number and email address are on each of the emails: please get in contact if you are feeling isolated: I am here for you.
Are you willing to contact isolated people via email or phone? Let me know! It would be good to match up those who need help with those who can offer it.
Live Stream — Pascha
The Monastery of Saints Antony and Cuthbert, Shropshire, is live-streaming its services for all who are unable to go to their own churches. These are over YouTube and can be accessed here:
Sunday 19th April
Vespers of Love (Agape)
News of Future Service
Given the current situation in the UK, and throughout the world, about the Covid-19 (Corona) virus it would be prudent to wait for our plans to meet together as a worshipping community. I hope and pray this will pass soon.
This is an invitation for us to repent and to pray.
We need to be praying, too, that the patron of our new community will identify himself, herself or themselves to us. I believe it will not be so much that we choose, rather we need to pray that the choice be revealed to us.
Our Facebook Page, facebook.com/orthodoxeastleigh, too, has daily additions during the week as well as on feast days. Please do like and share our page and content so we may reach a wider group of people.
Do you receive the weekly (on Fridays) text message? If not, then let me know.
Saints and Feasts
Sunday 19th April — Great and Holy Pascha — The Resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ
Monday 20th — Bright Monday. St Caedwalla, King of the West Saxons (689)
Tuesday 21st — Bright Tuesday. Ss Raphael, Nicholas and Irene of Lesbos the Martyrs (1463)
Wednesday 22nd — Bright Wednesday. Apostles Nathaniel, Luke and Clement (1st)
Thursday 23rd — Bright Thursday. Holy, Glorious Great Martyr George the Victorybearer and Wonderworker, Patron of England (303)
Friday 24th — Bright Friday. The Holy Theotokos the Lifegiving Spring.
Saturday 25th — Bright Saturday. Holy Apostle and Evangelist Mark (1st)
Sunday 26th — Sunday of Thomas.
Can I help you?
I am here for you, you need only ask. Is there a way I can support your life of faith? Get in touch.
Can you help the mission?
Yes, absolutely. Offer yourselves to the Lord: pray! Make available to him all your talents and ask him how he would like you to use them — listen for his reply.
I ask your prayers for me.
With love in Christ