iconandlight

Iconography and Hand painted icons

The Light of the Resurrection “embraces us with…love”. I was resurrected, and in me and with me the whole world was resurrected. Elder Sophrony of Essex

ΑΝΑΣΤΑΣΗ ΤΟΥ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΥ_Holy Resurrection of Jesus Christ_Воскресение Иисуса Христа_0_d4726Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Χριστός ανέστη! Αληθώς ανέστη!
Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!
ХристосВоскрес! Воистину Воскрес!
Kristus (ir) augšāmcēlies! Patiesi viņš ir augšāmcēlies!
ქრისტეაღსდგა! ჭეშმარიტადაღსდგა!
Le Christ est ressuscité! Vraiment Il est ressuscité!
Hristos a înviat! Adevărat a înviat!
Cristo ha resucitado! Verdaderamente, ha resucitado!
Kristos (İsa) dirildi! Gerçekten dirildi!
Christos E Anviat! / Adeverat Anviat!
Al-Masih-Qam! / Hakkan Qam!

Arise, O God; judge the earth, for You shall inherit all the Gentiles.

“It was Spring and Elder Paisios would hear the birds outside chirping.
He asked me, “What are the birds saying now?”
I answered, “How do I know Elder?”
He replied, “Blessed one, they are saying the ‘Christ is Risen!'”
Archimandrite Arsenios Katerelou, on Saint Paisios of the Holy Mountain’ last Pascha, 1994

The following is an excerpt from Archimandrite Sophrony (Sakharov)We Shall See Him as He Is, trans. Rosemary Edmonds (Platina, CA: St Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, 2006). The event he discusses took place when he was an art student in Paris.

And lo, on Easter Saturday, in 1924 perhaps, the Light visited me after I had taken communion, and I felt it like the touch of Divine Eternity on my spirit. Gentle, full of peace and love, the Light remained with me for three days. It drove away the darkness of non-existence that had engulfed me. I was resurrected, and in me and with me the whole world was resurrected. The words of St John Chrysostom at the end of the Easter Liturgy struck me with overwhelming force: ‘Christ is risen and there are no dead in the grave’. Tormented hitherto by the spectre of universal death, I now felt that my soul, too, was resurrected and there were no more dead . . . If this is God, then quickly let me abandon everything and seek only union with Him. (p. 178, ellipsis in the original)

After this experience, Elder Sophrony tried out the Orthodox theological school in Paris. But deciding that even this was not enough, he left to become a monk on the Holy Mountain, where he lived for about twenty years.

“The descent of this (Light) to us is nothing other than the revelation of God to man: the revelation of heavenly mysteries. Without this light, the earth would remain without true knowledge of God. Based on my personal experience, I returned to myself to name that Light the Light of the Resurrection. With the coming of that Light, the spirit of man comes to the plane where there is no death. The radiance from this Light grants man the experience of the Resurrection as a foretaste of the blessedness to come.”

“Christ, after His Resurrection, appeared exclusively to those who were able to understand His already deified and enlightened flesh, which remained invisible to others.”

Without faith, however, (in the Resurrection) every trial becomes absurd:  void of meaning…We struggle for the Resurrection, both of the individual and of every other fellow man.”

ΑΝΑΣΤΑΣΗ ΤΟΥ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΥ_Holy Resurrection of Jesus Christ_Воскресение Иисуса Христа____20120625_2051075Eight years later, on the Holy Mountain, where he had since become a monk, the Light visited him again shortly after his ordination to the diaconate. For three weeks It enfolded him tenderly, remaining around him and within him.Father Sophrony describes the Uncreated Light as gentle, full of otherworldly joy and peaceful. It fills the soul with Iove and compassion for all creation and for all mankind, including even one’s enemies. In its less intense manifestation this Light is often perceived as fire – a fire which burns away anything alien to the Spirit of God that may lie hidden in the soul. Divine Light is eternal life, the Kingdom of God, the uncreated Divine energy of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. It is the Light of the Father’s Iove. It is the Light of the Countenance of Christ. It is the pre-eternal glory of the Only- Begotten Son, which belongs to Him by nature. This Glory, this Light, bears witness to the Divinity of Christ. It is the Light which Adam and Eve beheld in Paradise, which was lost to us through the Fall, and which the Son came into the world to reveal. The Incarnation of the Word of the Father is there- fore the unshakeable foundation underlying the revelation of the Light of Life.Although the Light comes exclusively as a gift of God’s mercy, a few basic conditions must first be met by the beholder, the most essential being faith in the Divinity of Jesus Christ. The belief that Christ is the Truth, that He is Absolute Being, opens the spirit of man to the domain of the Uncreated Light. The Elder writes: „However much of a non-entity I really was, the Light appeared to me precisely because of my faith in Christ”.Profound repentance constitutes the second essential prelude to the Vision of the Light of God. The Elder describes his awareness of his own vileness and infernal darkness as having reached such intensity that in total despair over himself, a despair which would turn into self-hatred, he would pray to God in utter forgetfulness of seif. Hatred of seif, as an expression of man’s perfect Iove for God, paves the way for Divine Illumination. In this condition, in which the repentant person is so humble, so contrite, that he dares not deem himself worthy of any kind of Visitation from on High, the mercy of God bows down to his lowliness and bears him in spirit into the world of Divine Light. In the spiritual realm of the Uncre- ated Light, man stands naked and alone before God. There is nothing and no one save the God of love and the vision of His boundlessness. Both mind and heart fall silent, there is no questioning; the soul is filled with blessed wonder. The fruits of such experience are Christ-like humility, prayer for the whole world, love for one’s enemies and the gift of theology, a theology derived from direct experience of God.

Christ is risen from the dead, trampling on death by death, and on those in the tombs bestowing life.

Glory . . . Now . . . tone 5:

It is the day of the Resurrection. Let us shine brightly for the festival, and also embrace one another. Brethren, let us say even to those who hate us, “Let us forgive everything for the Resurrection.” And thus let us cry aloud,: Christ is risen from the dead, trampling on death by death, and on those in the tomb bestowing life.

Christ is risen from the dead, trampling on death by death, and on those in the tomb bestowing life. (Thrice)

The Angel cried to the Lady Full of Grace:
Rejoice, O Pure Virgin!
Again I say: Rejoice!
Your Son is risen from His three days in the tomb.
With Himself He has raised all the dead.
Rejoice, all ye people!
Shine, shine, O New Jerusalem,
The glory of the Lord has shone on you.
Exult now and be glad, O Zion,
Be radiant, O Pure Theotokos,
In the Resurrection of your Son!

Great and Holy Saturday
Hymn of the holy three children

 

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