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of His Eminence

Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York
First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia

Most Revered Broth­er Arch­pas­tors, Beloved in the Lord Fathers, Broth­ers, and Sisters:

With joy and thank­ful­ness in my heart, I greet you on this salvif­ic night of Pascha, when our Lord Jesus Christ rose on the third day, pour­ing out His unfail­ing love and mer­cy on the whole world.


This radi­ant and joy­ous Paschal greet­ing has the won­der­work­ing pow­er to call forth in the human heart joy, for­give­ness of all, and love. “This… day which the Lord hath made” (Psalm 118:24) – Christ’s Pascha – gives wings of faith to those of lit­tle faith and strength­ens those who despair of life. Tru­ly, in a world fre­quent­ly faced with crises and uncer­tain­ty, Pascha shines like a bea­con of hope. Thus, in these dif­fi­cult times, when mankind is seized by var­i­ous mis­for­tunes, let us hold fast to the Risen Christ and find in Him con­so­la­tion amidst sor­rows, strength in our ongo­ing strug­gle with sin, and sure­ty of eter­nal life!

On the thresh­old of His suf­fer­ing, the Lord was sur­round­ed by human pas­sions that led Him to Gol­go­tha. The Phar­isees had long sought to kill Him, while the peo­ple, who only days before had ecsta­t­i­cal­ly greet­ed the Sav­ior in Jerusalem, were now pow­er­ful­ly dis­en­chant­ed with Him, because He did not turn out to be the polit­i­cal mes­si­ah who, as they had hoped, would deliv­er them from the Romans and restore the King­dom of Israel. To the shouts of “Hosan­na” and the cries of “Cru­ci­fy Him!,” just as to accu­sa­tions and false wit­ness, Christ respond­ed with silence. As the Gospel says, “but Jesus held His peace” (Matthew 26:63). Preach­ing in Galilee and Jerusalem “the Gospel of the King­dom” (Matthew 4:23), which “is not of this world” (John 18:36), Christ did not speak out about the Roman occu­pa­tion or the impris­on­ment and exe­cu­tion of His Fore­run­ner. He did not call on the peo­ple to over­come the tor­tur­ous prob­lems of human soci­ety or soci­etal ills, but rather of fall­en human nature – in the name of heal­ing it and trans­form­ing it into a divine nature. The Lord preached His Gospel and worked won­ders, com­fort­ing those in sor­rows and strength­en­ing their faith. And we, as the Body of Christ, rais­ing our­selves above con­tem­po­rary polit­i­cal squab­bles of every stripe, are called to show care for the man starved of love, bring­ing him the good news of the God’s Word through prayer and the exam­ple of our lives. It is name­ly prayer that helps us to not become embit­tered and lose the image of God. And since work­ing won­ders is beyond our abil­i­ty, we can and must, accord­ing to the com­mand­ment of Christ, self­less­ly do good deeds for the con­so­la­tion of our neigh­bors. There­fore, as we cel­e­brate “the sav­ing Pascha of God,” let us con­tin­ue our labors in rais­ing finan­cial and human­i­tar­i­an aid to ben­e­fit those who suf­fer, fer­vent­ly pray­ing for peace in the Holy Land and in Ukraine, and warm­ly receiv­ing refugees, among them the cler­gy of the Ukrain­ian Ortho­dox Church. Act­ing in this way, we will make our hum­ble con­tri­bu­tion to the work of estab­lish­ing Christ’s King­dom, becom­ing “the light of the world” (John 8:12) and “the salt of the earth” (Matthew 5:13). We note further

that our so-called “silence” is not a pas­sive state, but on the con­trary – it is most active, demand­ing patience and great effort, and is instru­men­tal in over­com­ing dis­cord and accom­plish­ing “the union of all,” for which we pray at every divine service.

May our Lord Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, Who once said to His fol­low­ers “Rejoice” (Matthew 28:9) and “Peace be unto you” (John 20:19), repeat these radi­ant greet­ings in the hearts of each of us in these holy and grace-filled days of the cel­e­bra­tion of Holy Pascha. Amen.

With Paschal joy in the Risen Christ and ask­ing your holy prayers,

Met­ro­pol­i­tan of East­ern Amer­i­ca & New York
First Hier­ar­ch of the Russ­ian Ortho­dox Church Out­side of Russia

Christ’s Pascha 2024