The risen life is a rejoicing life

Here is the last sermon preached by Metropolitan Anthony. It was heard on Paschal night 2003 by the hundreds of worshipers assembled at the Russian Orthodox cathedral in London.

We have read, heard, listened to the wonderful words which should serve, so to speak, as a scheme for the entire time ahead: This is the Day of the Resurrection; let us shine with the joy of the Feast! It is the Day of the Resurrection, not only because Christ is risen but because, if He indeed is risen, if we indeed rejoice in the fact that death was not capable of being victorious over God, of vanquishing love, then we too can live, and live not a life that is cold, not a life in which we are indifferent to one another, but a life that rejoices: God’s life which He gave for each one of us. And here it is said: Let us embrace one another. Whoever it may be who is part of our lives, let us accept him as a human being whom Christ has so loved that He died for him, and rose so that He could share His eternal life. Let us say to one another “O Brethren!”; let us forgive one another in the Resurrection. Let us forgive one another everything. We all humiliate one another, hurt one another, we suffer from one another, but if we truly understand that Christ died so that we could live, that He rose so that we might share with Him His eternal life, we then can forgive one another, we can accept one another. And then we can truly say that Christ is risen from the dead, that He has trampled down death by His death and that He has given us life.

Let this be, for us, God’s commandment for the coming year; let us embrace one another, forgive one another, accept Christ’s forgiveness from Him and share it with others. Amen.

At the end of the service now, the clergy will come out, to greet you and be greeted with the most glorious, the most heady words in human history, that Christ is risen, that human sin, human evil, was not able to condemn Him to a definitive death, that He has conquered. I shall not have enough strength to be one of those who will come out and greet you; but from all my heart, with all my gratitude, I greet each of you with these glorious words, and thank you for your infinite patience with me. Christ is risen!