Christ is risen and death has been defeated! Christ is risen and the dead are liberated from Hades! Christ is risen and humanity has been reconciled with the Creator! Salvation came to Earth born in a manger in a cave and was buried in a tomb in a cave. Lips that He had formed reviled Him. Hands that He had fashioned beat Him. His chosen whom He had delivered rejected Him. Yet, through this all He saved us.
The glory of Christ’s third-day resurrection is that it is a fulfillment of all that He preached on Earth: mercy, love, sacrifice, and forgiveness. The Paschal flame offers to each of us the light of this basic truth, that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) This is the joy of Pascha! That we were given hope where there was despair, light where there was only darkness, and life where there was death.
In the glory of the Resurrection of Christ, with perseverance and fasting, love and forgiveness, let us all come forward on Great and Holy Pascha as one family of the Saints Peter and Paul Greek Orthodox Parish of Frederick, MD, and receive the light from the unwaning light and glorify Christ, Who is risen from the dead. May our voices resonate throughout the midnight air that Orthodoxy is indeed flourishing and that our Paschal flame burns ever so brilliantly as we proclaim with all of our souls and hearts:
It is the day of Resurrection!Let us be glorious in the splendor of the feast!Let us embrace one another.Let us speak also to those who hate us.In the Resurrection let us forgive all things.And so let us sing:Christ is risen from the dead, by death trampling upon death, and to those in the tombs granting life.
Praying that the jubilation of His glorious Resurrection will truly fill your hearts with heavenly bliss and divine peace, and that all of you will have a most blessed Holy and Great Pascha with family and friends, I Remain,
With Love in the Resurrected Christ,
†Archimandrite George Nikas
What is the Orthodox Church?
The eastern or Greek orthodox Church is one of the original Churches of Christianity, which was founded on the Day of the Pentecost in Jerusalem in 33 A. D. Ten days after Jesus Christ ascended to Heaven, He sent His Holy Spirit on the Heads of His Disciples, which according to the description at the Acts of the Apostles, stood like burning tongues. Since that Day the Orthodox Church has kept unbroken the Holy Tradition of the Church given by Jesus Christ and His Disciples. Later he accepted the Decrees of the Seven Ecumenical Synods, which were convened by the Church in order to solve religious, dogmatical questions. The decrees of the Seven Ecumenical Synods are infallible.
Christianity started in the Holy City of Jerusalem in the East and with the ages expanded around the world. During this development, due to different ideology and point of views and politics, the unity of the Church began to split into different denominations. The Holiest Cities for early Christians are considered to be Jerusalem, Damascus, Rome, Alexandria and later when the Eastern Roman Empire was established in Byzantium - Constantinople. Constantinople became the Capital of the Byzantine Empire and became the center of Christianity. The universal language in these first centuries was Greek and the Gospels except St. Matthew were written in Greek.
The first three centuries of Christianity went through severe persecution, but it came out victorious and the truth dominated the universe.
Christianity was first recognized by Emperor Constantine the Great. With the edict of Milan in the IVth Century the persecution of Christians stopped and the Churches from underground (catacombs) appeared on the surface. Many Churches started to be built.
The first nation to officially recognize Christianity was Armenia. The first split of Christianity occurred after the IVth Ecumenical Synod of Chalcedon with the Monophysites of Ethiopia, Syria, Chaldeans and Armenians. Later in 1054, due to politics, the Roman Catholic Church split from the Eastern Church by adding the word "filioque" at the Nicean-Constantinopolitan Creed, which was written at the 1st and the 2nd Ecumenical Synods.
In the years to follow other groups split from the Roman Catholics; the Protestants, the Lutheran and the Anglican denominations split and today we have many Christians denominations around the world. Unfortunately, in order to accommodate their passions and modern ideas, many of the denominations have created new teachings and rules which are totally against the Gospel teaching. We as the Orthodox Church pray for the unity of our Christian Brothers in our everyday prayers. Today in the world The Eastern Orthodox Faith is the dominant Church of Russia, Ukraine, Serbia, Romania, Albania, Bulgaria, Greece and Cyprus. There are thousands and millions of faithful who adhere to the Orthodox Faith in the Middle East, Africa, Australia, Asia, United States, Canada, Central and South America. The worldwide membership is more than 300 million.
The Orthodox residing in the USA are over 3 million people and in the State of New Jersey the Greek Orthodox faithful comprise 1% of the state's population.
At the center of the life of the Church is the Holy Eucharist, which is the principal celebration of our faith and the means through which we participate in the very life of the Holy Trinity. Learn more»