Paschal Homily of St. John Chrysostom
The Paschal homily of St. John Chrysostom is read at the end of Paschal Matins in all Orthodox Churches.
If anyone is devout and a lover of God, let him enjoy this beautiful and radiant festival.
If anyone is a wise servant, let him, rejoicing, enter into the joy of his Lord.
If anyone has wearied himself in fasting, let him now receive his recompense.
If anyone has labored from the first hour, let him today receive his just reward.
If anyone has come at the third hour, let him keep the feast with thanksgiving.
If anyone has arrived at the sixth hour, let him have no misgivings; for he shall not suffer loss.
If anyone has delayed until the ninth hour, let him draw near without hesitation.
If anyone has arrived even at the eleventh hour, let him not fear because of his delay.
For the Master is gracious and receives the last, even as the first;
he gives rest to those that come at the eleventh hour, just as to those who have labored from the first.
He has mercy upon the last and cares for the first; to the one he gives, and on the other he bestows gifts.
He honors the work and commends the intention.
Enter all of you, therefore, into the joy of our Lord, and, whether first or last, receive your reward.
O rich and poor, dance together for joy!
O you ascetics and you negligent, celebrate the day!
You that have fasted and you that have disregarded the fast, rejoice today!
The table is richly laden; feast royally, all of you! The calf is fatted; let no one go away hungry!
Let all partake of the feast of faith. Let all receive the riches of goodness.
Let no one lament his poverty, for the universal kingdom has been revealed.
Let no one mourn his transgressions, for pardon has dawned from the grave.
Let no one fear death, for the Savior’s death has set us free.
He that was taken by death has annihilated death!
He descended into Hades and took Hades captive!
He embittered it when it tasted his flesh!
Anticipating this Isaiah exclaimed, “Hades was embittered when it encountered thee in the lower regions.”
It was embittered, for it was abolished!
It was embittered, for it was mocked!
It was embittered, for it was purged!
It was embittered, for it was despoiled!
It was embittered, for it was bound in chains!
It took a body and met God face to face!
It took earth and encountered heaven!
It took what it saw and crumbled before what it had not seen!
“O Death, where is thy sting? O Hades, where is thy 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 reigns!
Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in a tomb!
For Christ, being raised from the dead, has become the first-fruits of those who slept.
To him be glory and might unto ages of ages.
Why the Paschal liturgy is at night: The clock and the calendar can’t control the celebration of the Resurrection.
Paschal greetings: Learn the Paschal greeting in more than 50 languages, including a few you’re not likely to hear in your parish. Like Russian Sign Language. Or Klingon.