April 30 | This Sunday is dedicated to the Myrrh-bearing Women that went to anoint the body of Jesus with myrrh on the Sunday of Pascha, only to be the first ones to find out about the Resurrection of the Lord. The word Myrrh-bearers comes from the Greek word μυροφόρες, which means “I bring myrrh.” Each of the four Gospels gives different roles of the eight women (both at the Cross and at the tomb on Easter morning). The eight Myrrh-bearing Women are: the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary; Mary Magdalene; Joanna; Salome; Mary the wife of Cleopas (or Alphaeus); Susanna; and, Mary and Martha of Bethany (Lazarus’ sisters). ‘Myrrh-bearing women, why have you come to the tomb? Why do you seek the living among the dead? The Lord has risen, take courage!’ cries the Angel. (Hymn from Vespers)
April 23 | Thomas Sunday is the Sunday after Pascha and continues the story of the Agape Vespers. Thomas said to the disciples that he did not believe Jesus rose from the dead: “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe” (John 20:25). The week after, Jesus appeared again to His disciples (this time, with Thomas present). Jesus told Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” And Thomas answered and said to Him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:27-29).
Resurrection Service Hymns
The Katavasiai – The Canon
The 1st Ode. 1st Tone
It is the Day of Resurrection! O people, let us glory in splendor! Pascha, the Lord’s Pascha! For Christ our God has transported us who sing the triumphal hymn from death to life, and from earth to Heaven.
Paschal Catechetical Homily of St. John Chrysostom
Whosoever is a devout lover of God, let him enjoy this beautiful bright Festival. And whosoever is a grateful servant, let him joyously enter into the joy of his Lord. And if any be weary with fasting, let him now receive his reward. If any has toiled from the first hour, let him receive his just debt. If any came after the third, let him gratefully celebrate. If any arrived after the sixth, let him not doubt; for he too shall sustain no loss. If any have delayed to the ninth, let him come without hesitation. Read More
Contemplate the Resurrected Lord Jesus
How Simon Peter and the other disciple ran quickly to the tomb to confirm the news of the Resurrection.
How one after the other entered the tomb and saw the linen clothes and the napkin.
How there were no material obstacles to His appearing in His glorified body wherever He wanted.
Patriarchal Encyclical for Holy Pascha
Beloved brothers and sisters, children in the risen Lord,
“In the world you shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16.33) is the reassurance of the Lord, who alone trampled upon death by death, to generations of men and women. “Christ is Risen!” is the cry that we, too, pronounce to all people far and wide from this Sacred See, which has experienced worldly crucifixion and tribulation; but it is also the See of resurrection inasmuch as it is from this corner of the planet, the City of Constantine, that we proclaim “the victory of life” that dispels every form of corruption and death itself. Read More
Encyclical of Metropolitan Sotirios for Holy Pascha
He is risen, He is not here. Although they did not believe that He would die on the Cross, the faithful women disciples of the Lord, the myrrh-bearers, nonetheless went to anoint His body with myrrh and spices, as was the Jewish custom. Upon arriving at the tomb, they found that the great stone that sealed it was rolled to the side, not blocking the entrance. The grave was open. The sacred Body of the Lord was not inside. Only the cloth which covered His Body. Seeing this, they were seized with fear and trembling. Yet, the angel clothed in a white robe shared with them the message of Truth: “He is risen, He is not here.” He resurrected from the dead, no longer in the grave. Read More (Greek & English)