PASCHAL WISHES AND THANKS Within the frame of the joyous, panegyric and Paschal atmosphere of these days, the clergy as well as the lay officials of the Community, hasten to communicate with you. On this festive occasion we wish to warmly thank you for your ceaseless co-operation, to praise especially your kind understanding and to congratulate you specifically for your unfailing support in our communal matters. Additionally, we express much gratitude for your continuous love and we pray that the blessing of the Risen Lord from the dead will always adorn your life and enrich your deeds. Finally, we wholeheartedly and with much zeal extend the greeting
C H R I S T O S A N E S T I
The day of resurrection! O people, let us be radiant. It is Pascha, the Lord’s Passover; for Christ God has carried us over from death to life, from earth to heaven, as we sing a victory hymn. (1st Ode of the Easter Canon) Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Risen Lord, With the help and grace of the Triune God we have once again completed our spiritual journey of the Holy and Great Lent. We celebrated Palm Sunday and went through the great and salvific events of the Holy and Great Week. Our presence at the Divine Services nurtured and renewed us spiritually in order that we may continue our life, being enriched in our faith. Today, full of joy we celebrate the Resurrection of Christ, the Light-giver. The Day of Resurrection creates joyful feelings in the souls of the faithful. Their faces are illumined with the light of the Resurrection. Their souls are saturated with optimism and certainty for life. All of us gather devoutly under the roofs of our majestic churches to celebrate our Passover, the Passover of the Lord and with a loud voice to sing the Resurrection hymn. Let us bear in mind that the word Pascha is a Jewish word and it means ‘pass over’. The Jews, after being set free from the captivity of the Egyptians having Moses as their leader, passed through the Red Sea after the miracle performed by Moses, as it is recorded in the Bible. Their passing was accomplished by the division of the waters of the Red Sea and the Israelites then proceeded to walk on land and cross to the other side. Moses did this using his stick and making the sign of the cross. This movement of Moses prefigured the Lord’s cross. After that the Jews proceeded towards the Promised Land having, of course, many troubles on their way. After wondering for forty years they reached the Promised Land. The Jewish Pascha prefigured our Pascha which is the Pascha of grace. At our Pascha we are invited to leave behind the world of sin, the world of destruction and darkness. The Passover of the Lord frees us from the tentacles of the metaphoric Pharaoh (i.e. the devil). Thus, with the grace and philanthropy of God we enter the state of redemption, the state of joy and illumination. The Jews, prior to their exodus from the land of Egypt and following the instruction of God, each family sacrificed a lamb without blemish. Using the lamb’s blood they painted the frames of their doors so that the angel of the Lord, when he performed his task, could distinguish their homes in contrast to those of the Egyptians and kill their first-born son but not those of the Jews. The Jews were celebrating the Passover in order to remember their liberation from the captivity of Pharaoh in Egypt and also their passing through the Red Sea. At our Passover we remember the bloody sacrifice of the Incarnate Son and Logos of God, our Redeemer, on Golgotha. The Lord is the Lamb of God about whom the Prophet Isaiah spoke eight centuries before the Birth of Christ. Jesus Christ, through His crucifixion, cleanses our sins with His spotless Blood and with His completely pure Body feeds our souls. At each Divine Liturgy the Church performs the bloodless sacrifice through the cutting of the prosphoro (a round loaf of bread made and baked at home) and the preparation of the Cup, which are sanctified on the Holy Altar and then are distributed to the faithful “for the remission of sins and eternal life.” Finally, I wish you to concelebrate in good health with your relatives and friends the light-bearing Resurrection of the Lord. May the joy of the Resurrection conquer your life and the light of the Risen Lord illumine your deeds. Honour and glory be to the Risen Lord for ever and ever. Amen! C O M M U N I T Y N E W S RENEWAL OF SUBSCRIPTIONS: The subscriptions for the Community (£50.00), Pantanassa (£25.00) and the Archdiocese Magazine (£15.00) are now due. If you have not already paid your subscriptions or wish to subscribe to any or all of these you may contact our Community’s offices. YOUTH CONFERENCE: On Friday, the 10th April 2009, our Community accommodated the Youth Conference of our Archdiocese. The Youth Conference lasted all day. First and foremost the Service of the Pre-Sanctified Gifts presided by His Grace, Athanasios, Bishop of Tropaeou, was celebrated. His Eminence, Gregorios, Archbishop of Thyateira and Great Britain being present, extended his greetings to the young people and delivered a rich and extensive talk. The pupils of the Gymnasium and the Lyceum of the Greek Embassy attended the Service as well as many other young people. Following the Service, coffee and tea were served. Immediately afterwards the works of the Conference were launched. A letter of greetings from His All Holiness, the Ecumenical Patriarch, Vartholomeos, was read. Bishop Athanasios then spoke on behalf of the hosting Community of St Barnabas, welcoming all the members of the Conference and wishing them every success in their endeavour. The present President of the Youth of St Barnabas, Costas Antoniou, welcomed all the youth, thanked the speakers for accepting to deliver their talks and also thanked our Community for accommodating the Conference as well as for offering hospitality. Finally, a warm and fatherly welcome was given by His Eminence, who spoke extensively to the young people. The keynote speakers were the Very Revd Archimandrite Chrysostomos Michaelides, who spoke on the theme “Life after Death” and the Very Revd Archimandrite Dr Nicholas Zacharov who spoke on the theme “The Soul and Body”. Questions were addressed to both speakers. Lunch was served in the hall of St Barnabas. In the afternoon session the young people were divided into four groups for their workshops, where the themes were dealt with more extensively. The conclusions of the discussions were presented by 4 o’clock. The Conference was extremely successful. About 150 young people participated. On behalf of His Eminence, Bishop Athanasios closed the works of the Conference commenting briefly and congratulating everyone for their contribution. THE SPIRE OF OUR CATHEDRAL: The severe weather of the recent winter brought to the surface problems existing in the stones of the spire of our Cathedral. For this reason the necessary steps have already been taken so as to protect our faithful and prevent people from getting too close to the building. That is why fencing was fixed at the front of the building. Further to this we have asked specialists to give us advice regarding the appropriate works to be taken so as to remedy or replace the damaged stones.