Did You Know? Paschal Greetings June 19, 2024

Did you know why we say “Christ is Risen” after Pascha?

We say the Paschal Greeting “Christ is Risen” (Greek: Χριστὸς Ἀνέστη “Christos Anesti”) from Pascha (Easter Sunday) until the day before the Ascension of Christ. This season is called “Paschaltide” or the Paschal (Easter) Season.

During this Paschal season, we continue celebrating the Feast of Feasts — the greatest celebration of joy for Orthodox Christians. The Resurrection of Christ restored fallen humanity, defeated the works of the evil one, and even conquered death itself. Saint John Chrysostom says: “The Feast of Pascha is a pledge of peace, a fountain of reconciliation, the destruction of death, the devil’s ruin.” This is our faith and the reason for our joy: Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!

We find this greeting first used in the Gospels themselves. In the Gospel of Matthew, an angel at the tomb told the Myrrh-Bearing Women, “He is not here; for He is risen.” (Matthew 28:6). In the Gospel of Luke, the disciples in Jerusalem told the two who walked with Jesus on the road to Emmaus, “The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” (Luke 24:34).

As disciples of Christ, we preserve this Paschal tradition. At church and in everyday life, the first words we say or write when greeting someone is: Christ is Risen! They respond: Truly He is Risen! (Greek: Ἀληθῶς Ἀνέστη “Alithos Anesti”). In celebrating the Resurrection of Christ, we demonstrate our joy and prepare ourselves for our own resurrection with Christ, when we will reign with Him in the age to come.

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