Today’s Orthodox Easter message is written by Harry Parks, a senior at Fordham College at Rose Hill and president of the Orthodox Christian Fellowship.

Dear Fordham Community,

At the stroke of midnight last night, Orthodox Christians around the world stood in darkness, anticipating the reception of the Paschal light and the first acclamation of Christ’s Resurrection: “Come receive the light, from the never-setting light; and glorify Christ who has risen from the dead.” After 40 days of Lent, which called all Orthodox Christians to reorient their lives toward God through prayer and fasting, and a Holy Week that recounted the saga of Christ’s life, death, and Resurrection, Orthodox Christian faithful now, with our Catholic and Protestant neighbors, can joyfully cry:

Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!

Pascha, colloquially Orthodox Easter, is calculated according to the Julian calendar and thus does not, generally, coincide with the Paschal celebrations of other Christians around the world. Like all Orthodox Christians, I have lived with this near annual divergence in commemorating the Feast of Feasts for my entire life. I have come to see this particular reality as an unintended, yet somehow beautiful reaffirmation of the fact that every Sunday is a Paschal celebration. Every Sunday is then the new day, filled with light, hope, and possibility. 

As Orthodox Christians raise, quite literally, the Paschal light in triumph of life over death, hope over despair, and freedom over bondage of all kinds, it should not be forgotten that at its core, Pascha is an ecstatic and emphatic declaration that humanity has been, is being, and will always be transformed for the better by love. While this blessed day draws to a close, our joy will not be extinguished, as we all carry the light of new life in our hearts whenever we endeavor to cultivate lives of hope, love, and joy.

Truly, then our hearts will sing without ceasing the words of the Psalmist, “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Ps. 118:24).  

Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!

Yours in the Risen Lord, 
Harry Parks, FCRH ’24