If any man be devout and love God, let him enjoy this fair and radiant triumphal feast.
If any man be a wise servant, let him rejoicing enter into the joy of his Lord.
If any have labored long in fasting, let him now receive his recompense.
If any have wrought from the first hour, let him today receive his just reward.
If any have come at the third hour, let him with thankfulness keep the feast.
If any have arrived at the sixth hour, let him have no misgivings; because he shall in no wise be deprived therefore.
If any have delayed until the ninth hour, let him draw near, fearing nothing.
If any have tarried even until the eleventh hour, let him, also, be not alarmed at his tardiness; for the Lord, who is jealous of His honor, will accept the last even as the first; He gives rest unto him who comes at the eleventh hour, even as unto him who has wrought from the first hour.
And He shows mercy upon the last, and cares for the first; and to the one He gives, and upon the other He bestows gifts.
And He both accepts the deeds, and welcomes the intention, and honors the acts and praises the offering.
Wherefore, enter ye all into the joy of thy Lord; and receive thy reward, both the first, and likewise the second.
Ye rich and poor together, hold high festival.
Ye sober and ye heedless, honor the day.
Rejoice today, both ye who have fasted and ye who have disregarded the fast.
The table is full-laden; feast ye all sumptuously.
The calf is fatted; let no one go hungry away.
Enjoy ye all the feast of faith: Receive ye all the riches of loving-kindness.
Let no one bewail his poverty, for the universal kingdom has been revealed.
Let no one weep for his iniquities, for pardon has shown forth from the grave.
Let no one fear death, for the Savior’s death has set us free.
He that was held prisoner of it has annihilated it. By descending into Hell, He made Hell captive.
He embittered it when it tasted of His flesh. And Isaiah, foretelling this, did cry:
Hell, said he, was embittered, when it encountered Thee in the lower regions.
It was embittered, for it was abolished.
It was embittered, for it was mocked.
It was embittered, for it was slain.
It was embittered, for it was overthrown.
It was embittered, for it was fettered in chains.
It took a body, and met God face to face.
It took earth, and encountered Heaven.
It took that which was seen, and fell upon the unseen.
O Death, where is thy sting? O Hell, where is thy victory?
Christ is risen, and thou art overthrown!
Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen!
Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice!
Christ is risen, and life reigns!
Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in the grave!
NOTE: in many parishes, the people respond “Indeed He is risen!” after each “Christ is risen”
For Christ, being risen from the dead, is become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. To Him be glory and dominion unto ages of ages. Amen.
About St. John Chrysostom
St. John Chrysostom (“The Golden Tongue”) was born at Antioch in about the year 347 into the family of a military-commander, spent his early years studying under the finest philosophers and rhetoricians and was ordained a deacon in the year 381 by the bishop of Antioch Saint Meletios. In 386 St. John was ordained a priest by the bishop of Antioch, Flavian.
Over time, his fame as a holy preacher grew, and in the year 397 with the demise of Archbishop Nektarios of Constantinople – successor to Sainted Gregory the Theologian – Saint John Chrysostom was summoned from Antioch for to be the new Archbishop of Constantinople.
Exiled in 404 and after a long illness because of the exile, he was transferred to Pitius in Abkhazia where he received the Holy Eucharist, and said, “Glory to God for everything!”, falling asleep in the Lord on 14 September 407.
This was taken from http://www.feastoffeasts.org
Excerpt from St. John Climacus, “The Ladder of Divine Ascent”, (Boston: Holy Transfiguration Monastery, 1978)
Step 8: On Freedom From Anger and On Meekness
– As the gradual pouring of water on a fire completely extinguishes the flame, so the tears of mourning are able to quench every flame of anger and irritability. Therefore, we place this next in order.
– Freedom from anger is an insatiable appetite for dishonor, just as in the vainglorious there is no unbounded desire for praise. Freedom from anger is victory over nature and insensibility to insults, acquired by struggles and sweat.
– Meekness is an immovable state of soul which remains unaffected, whether in evil report or in good report, in dishonor or in praise.
– The beginning of freedom from anger is silence of the lips when the heart is agitated; the middle is silence of the thoughts when there is a mere disturbance of soul; and the end is an imperturbable calm under the breath of unclean winds.
– Wrath is a reminder of hidden hatred, that is to say, remembrance of wrongs. Wrath is a desire for the injury of the one who has provoked you. Irascibility is the untimely blazing up of the heart. Bitterness is a movement of displeasure seated in the soul. Anger is an easily changeable movement of one’s disposition and disfiguration of soul.
– As with the appearance of light, darkness retreats; so, at the fragrance of humility, all anger and bitterness vanishes.
– If it is a mark of extreme meekness, even in the presence of one’s offender, to be peacefully and lovingly disposed towards him in one’s heart, then it is certainly a mark of hot temper when a person continues to quarrel and rage against his offender, both by words and gestures, even when by himself.
– If you want, or rather intend, to take a splinter out of another person, then do not hack at it with a stick instead of a lancet, for you will only drive it in deeper. And this is a stick – rude speech and rough gestures. And this is a lancet – tempered instruction and patient reprimand. “Reprove,” says the Apostle, “rebuke, exhort,” but he did not say “beat.” (II Timothy 4:2) And if even this is required, do it rarely, and not with your own hand.
I am your friend, and my love for you goes deep.
There is nothing I can give you which you have not.
But there is much, very much, that while I cannot give it,
You may take.
No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in today.
No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present little instant.
The gloom of the world is but a shadow.
Behind it, yet within our reach, is joy.
There is radiance and glory in the darkness could we but see,
And to see, we have only to look.
I beseech you to look!
Life is so generous a giver,
But we, judging its gifts by their covering,
Cast them away as ugly, or heavy, or hard.
Remove the covering and you will find beneath it a living splendor,
Woven of love, by wisdom, with power.
Welcome it, grasp it, and you will touch the angel’s hand that brings it to you!
Everything we call a trial, a sorrow, or a duty,
Believe me, the angel’s hand is there, the gift is there,
And the wonder of an overshadowing presence.
Our joys, too, be not content with them as joys.
They, too, conceal diviner gifts.
Courage then to claim it, that is all.
But courage you have, and the knowledge that we are pilgrims together, wending through unknown country, home.
And so at this time I greet you.
Not quite as the world sends greetings,
But with profound esteem, and with the prayer that for you,
Now and forever, the day breaks, and the shadows flee away.
Fra Giovanni Giocondo, 1530
Happy New Year, 2013
Emmy has been gone for nearly 6 weeks – since November 13. I anticipate her return sometime in early to mid-January. Sad to say, the trip to Colorado does not seem to have helped her allergic reactions very much.
So we will have to look at still more treatments. At this point I don’t know what they might be.
Please pray for my poor service dog! She does so much for me, and she would be able to do even more, if she didn’t itch so much!