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The Paschal homily of St John Chrysostom

Icon of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

If you are devout and love God, enjoy this beautiful and radiant festival.
If you are a grateful servant, enter, rejoicing, into the joy of your Lord.
If you followed the fast, receive your payment now.

If you worked from the first hour, receive today your just reward.
If you came after the third hour, you are welcomed to celebrate.
If you arrived after the sixth hour, have no doubt; for you suffer no loss.
If you delayed until the ninth hour, come near with no cause to hesitate.
If you arrived even at the eleventh hour, do not be fearful of the lateness;
for the Lord is generous and accepts the last as He does the first.

He gives rest to him of the eleventh hour, as to him who worked from the first hour.
He shows mercy to the last and attends to the first.
To the one is given and to the other is granted.
He accepts the works and welcomes the volition.
He honours the act and praises the intention.

All of you, therefore, enter into the joy of our Lord; both first and last, receive your reward.

You rich and poor, with one another dance.
You who are abstinent and you who are indolent, honour this day.
You who have fasted and you who have not fasted, be glad today.
The table is richly laden; all of you, feast sumptuously.
The calf is plentiful; let no one depart hungry.
All of you partake of the banquet of faith.
All of you enjoy the wealth of goodness.

Let no one deplore his poverty, for the Universal Kingdom has been revealed.
Let no one lament for transgressions, because forgiveness has dawned from the Tomb.
Let no one fear death, for the death of the Saviour has set us free.

He subdued death when it took hold of Him.
He despoiled Hades when He descended into Hades.
He embittered it as it tasted of His flesh, anticipating which, Isaiah cried out:
‘Hades was embittered when it encountered You below.’

It was embittered, for it was abolished.
It was embittered, for it was mocked. It was embittered, for it was mortified.
It was embittered, for it was dethroned.
It was embittered, for it was enchained.

It received a body and came upon God.
It received earth and met up with heaven.
It received what it saw and stumbled upon what it did not see.
Death, where is your sting?
Hades, where is your victory?

Christ is risen, and you are overthrown.
Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen.
Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice.
Christ is risen, and life rules.
Christ is risen, and not one is to be found dead in the tomb.

For Christ rising from the dead has become the first to awaken among those who are asleep. To Him be the glory and the power to the ages of ages. Amen.