The Light of Christ
This evening, we began our Easter celebrations with the Great Vigil of Easter. In the gathering darkness we kindled a new fire to use in lighting the Paschal (or Easter) candle signifying the light of Christ coming back into the world with the resurrection. By the light of our own candles lit from that one light, we read stories from the Old Testament and reaffirmed our baptismal vows before moving into the sanctuary to continue with Easter readings a sermon and communion. The service is the Christian Passover, the night we remember that by Jesus' resurrection we too pass from death to life.
In the most famous Easter sermon ever given John Chrysostom (347-407) preached,
O death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory? Christ is risen and you are abolished. Christ is risen and the demons are cast down. Christ is risen and the angels rejoice. Christ is risen and life is freed. Christ is risen and the tomb is emptied of the dead: for Christ, being risen from the dead, has become the Leader and Reviver of those who had fallen asleep. To Him be glory and power for ever and ever. Amen.In case you think it was mere hyperbole to call it the most famous Easter sermon it should be noted that Chrysostom's Easter homily is read by Greek Orthodox and other Orthodox churches throughout the world each Easter as it has been for generations.
Our Easter worship will be at the usual time of 10 a.m. and is followed by lunch, Esater egg hunts for all ages and a moon bounce. Come celebrate Easter and stay for the fellowship.