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The Resurrection of Christ

An icon of the Resurrection of Christ.

THE ICON

Christ - the central figure robed in gold and white to denote His Divinity; the mandorla (body halo) encompasses Him symbolizing the brilliant light of the God head; at His foot are the brass gates of Hades which He demolished and the broken locks and keys.

Adam our Forefather - is being pulled from his tomb by Christ; he is portrayed as an old man with a white beard and hair; the hymns of the Church speak of Adam being "recalled" to his former stage in paradise by the incarnation.

Eve our Forebearer - is bring pulled from the tomb by Christ; she is portrayed as an old woman; the hymns of the Church speak of Eve being "set free" from her sin in Eden, by the Incarnation.

The Righteous of the Old Testament - is the group of figures on the extreme left and represents those who lived before the Incarnation; the two figures in the front are the Holy Kings: St. David the Psalmist and his son, St. Solomon the Wise.

The Righteous of the New Testament - is the group of figures on the extreme right and represents those righteous individuals who died after the Incarnation but before Christ's death and resurrection; the two figures is the front are St. John the Baptist (with the animal skin shirt) and St. Joseph the Guardian of Christ.

THE FEAST

The celebration of Pascha (Easter) in the Orthodox Church is once again not merely an historical reenactment of the events of Christ's Resurrection as narrated in the gospels. It is not a dramatic representation of the "first Easter morning." There is no "sunrise service" since the Easter Matins and the Divine Liturgy are celebrated together in the first dark hours of the first day of the week in order to give men the experience of the "new creation" of the world, and to allow them to enter mystically into the New Jerusalem which shines eternally with the glorious light of Christ, overcoming the perpetual night of evil and destroying the darkness of this mortal and sinful world:

Shine! Shine! O New Jerusalem! The Glory of the Lord has shone on you! Exult now end be glad, O Zion! Be radiant, O Pure Theotokos, in the Resurrection of your Son! (Taken from Worship, The Orthodox Faith, Vol. II, by Fr. Thomas Hopko)

TROPARION OF PASCHA

CHRIST IS RISEN FROM THE DEAD, TRAMPLING DOWN DEATH BY DEATH AND UPON THOSE IN THE TOMBS BESTOWING LIFE! (3x)

Then the verses:

Let God arise, let His enemies be scattered; let those who hate Him flee from before His face.

CHRIST IS RISEN FROM THE DEAD, TRAMPLING DOWN DEATH BY DEATH AND UPON THOSE IN THE TOMBS BESTOWING LIFE!

As smoke vanishes, so let them vanish; as wax melts before the fire.

CHRIST IS RISEN FROM THE DEAD, TRAMPLING DOWN DEATH BY DEATH AND UPON THOSE IN THE TOMBS BESTOWING LIFE!

So the sinners shall perish before the face of God; but let the righteous be glad.

CHRIST IS RISEN FROM THE DEAD, TRAMPLING DOWN DEATH BY DEATH AND UPON THOSE IN THE TOMBS BESTOWING LIFE!

This is the day which the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

CHRIST IS RISEN FROM THE DEAD, TRAMPLING DOWN DEATH BY DEATH AND UPON THOSE IN THE TOMBS BESTOWING LIFE!

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

CHRIST IS RISEN FROM THE DEAD, TRAMPLING DOWN DEATH BY DEATH AND UPON THOSE IN THE TOMBS BESTOWING LIFE!