The Leave-Taking of Pascha

Christ is Risen! Truly, He is Risen!

The day before Ascension Thursday is called “the Leave-Taking of Pascha.” On this day we end the greeting, “Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen!” The Paschal hymns come to an end but Pascha does not end. The Resurrection continues. On the Feast of “the Leave-Taking” or “Rendition of Pascha,” the same message is heard as on the first day of Pascha. Every great feast in Orthodoxy has its “rendition.” Every feast is a living event which is repeated in the life of the Church and in the life of the faithful.. But the re-celebration of the feast, its rendition, also takes place for another reason so that we can again enjoy its beauty.

Pascha, the Resurrection of Christ continues to be celebrated. The jubilation over Christ’s Resurrection is universal and eternal. Heaven and earth dance together. Not once. Always eternally. One way we experience the power of Christ’s Resurrection is in the Divine Liturgy. The Divine Liturgy brings all the events of Christ’s life back to life before our eyes. “We progress through all the ages of Christ,” as St. Gregory the Theologian says.

Every Divine Liturgy is a reminder of the Cross and Resurrection. It’s the Passover of the Cross and the Resurrection. The Liturgy on a Sunday, in particular, has a festal nature. It’s the Liturgy of “the first day of the week.” On Sundays, everything is related to the Resurrection. The dismissal hymn in the eight tones are all about the Resurrection, So are the hymns at Matins on a Sunday. Most of all, the period between Pasch and Pentecost, which begins on Pascha night and ends on the Sunday of All Saints, is particularly imbued with the Resurrection. When we partake of the Resurrected Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharist, we live a new Pascha. When we manage to make great strides in our spiritual life, we experience Pascha, A passing over.

The Resurrection continues beyond the yearly liturgical celebration. It is repeated time and again in our lives. We die daily, so as to rise daily into the newness of life that Christ gives us. Repentance is a resurrection. Sin is the dark night, the life of repentance is the bright day. Every Christian who repents has been resurrected. Every saint is the living proof of the power of the Resurrection.

Let us continue to experience the power, beauty, joy and transforming power of Christ’ Resurrection! Le us gather each and every Sunday to celebrate again and again Christ Risen from the dead! Let us be continually renewed by the Life-Giving Resurrected Body of Christ we receive in Holy Communion. The Resurrection of Christ defines history. The Resurrection of Christ assures us of incorruptibility and immortality. The Resurrection of Christ is the source and substance of our life. To the Risen Christ be glory for every and ever.

Christ Is Risen! Truly, He is Risen!

(taken from a reflection by Fr. James Parsells)


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