Paschal Epistle of His Eminence Gabriel, Archbishop of Montreal & Canada. 2018

06:13 AM

Paschal Epistle
To the clergy and the entire God-preserved flock of the Canadian Diocese

Beloved brothers and sisters,

Christ is Risen!

The Grace-filled Day of the Resurrection of Christ, the Feast of Lord’s Pascha, is the most joyous and festive of all the feasts that Our Lord has given to His Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. We can see, as with our own eyes, how the words of the Easter canon are coming to life: “This is the day of the Resurrection, let us shine with the light of the Feast, and embrace one another. Let us say brethren also to those who hate us; let us forgive all in the Resurrection…” Our ever-memorable First Hierarch Metropolitan Vitaly used to say: “We should feel special gratitude to God for belonging to the Orthodox Church, since it is only us, Her children, who can experience the Paschal Joy in full”. This very joy, the harbinger of the everlasting joy in the Kingdom of Heaven, was prepared for us by our Lord through His Resurrection. This feeling, the foretaste of the eternal joy, filled the hearts of the Holy Apostles, Martyrs, and Royal Passion-Bearers Tsar Nicholas, Tsarina Alexandra and their family. Their Way of the Cross began in April 2018, exactly 100 years ago. That year Easter was late: 22 April / 5 May; the Tsar, Tsarina and Grand Duchess Mary were taken from Tobolsk to Ekaterinburg on Lazarus Saturday eve, 13/26 April. Their letters and diaries leave no doubt: the Imperial Family have put their own destiny into God’s hand. One gets a feeling that they have received an assurance of victory over inner strife and conflict. This assurance is a sign of spiritual wholeness, which every one of us the Orthodox, Russian Orthodox people, whether living at home or scattered abroad, needs. As St John Chrysostom says in his Paschal Homily, read at the end of Easter Matins: “All of you enjoy the feast of faith; all of you receive the riches of his goodness!”

Truly He is Risen!

Archbishop of Montreal and Canada
Pascha, 2018