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In the night of 8 April 2018, the Feast of the Resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk celebrated the Paschal services – Midnight Office, Matins and the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom – at the Moscow Church of the ‘Joy of All Who Sorrow’ Icon of the Mother of God in Bolshaya Ordynka Street in con-celebration with its clerics.

After the Paschal Matins Metropolitan Hilarion delivered a homily, saying in particular:

“Pascha is not just a feast which is celebrated once a year in order that we could rejoice and then return to our everyday life and forget about God until the next Pascha. Pascha is the climax of the whole liturgical year and the core of our Christian faith. St. Paul said, “… if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain” (1 Cor. 15:14).

“Christ rose from the dead to show us the path to resurrection. By His death… He trampled down death. He opened to us the path leading to life everlasting, and now we are not afraid of death, for we know that it is life eternal awaiting us over its threshold.”

“However, the importance of the feat of Jesus Christ in our life is not reduced to that, for Christ illuminates our earthly life by His light and His presence. And if Christ will always be present in our life, then we will be able to preserve the Paschal joy which we feel every time we enter a brightly lit church in the middle of the night. For that, we should read the Gospel, come to the church of God and remember that Christ appears in our life not only once a year, but can be near us every day. Then our whole life will be illumined by meaning and then all the events, including the sorrowful and dramatic ones, will be meaningful.

“We will glorify our Risen Lord and Saviour, asking Him to illumine our life by His Heavenly light <…> Full of the Paschal joy, we will come out of the church and will bring this joy to those who do not partake in it: to our relatives and friends who do not believe in God and do not go to church, and to those whom we can tell about God.”

The Gospel at the Divine Liturgy was read in the Greek, Latin, English, French, Japanese, Church Slavonic and Russian languages.

After the Litany of Fervent Supplication the archpastor said a prayer for peace in Ukraine.

After the communion verse, Hegumen Filaret (Tambovsky) read out the Paschal Message of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia to the archpastors, pastors, monastics and all the faithful children of the Russian Orthodox Church.

DECR Communication Service