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Prot. No. 104/2024 

Archepiscopal Encyclical on Great and Holy Pascha, 2024 

May 5, 2024 

Unto the Most Reverend and Right Reverend Hierarchs, Pious Priests and Deacons,  Monks and Nuns, Presidents and Members of the Parish Councils, Honorable Archons  of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Members of Leadership 100, Day and Afternoon Schools,  Philoptochos Societies, Youth, Greek Orthodox Organizations, and entirety of the Christ loving Plenitude of the Sacred Archdiocese of America: 

You who fast, and you who fast not, rejoice today! 

The table is laden; let all fare sumptuously. 

(Catechetical Oration of the Holy Chrysostom)i 

My beloved sisters and brothers in the Risen Lord, 

Χριστὸς Ἀνέστη! Christ is Risen! 

On Pascha night, the gilded voice of the legendary Archbishop of Constantinople  cries out in every church throughout the Orthodox Christian world. In this only sermon  ever preached on this “first of Sabbaths” (µία τῶν Σαββάτων) and “feast of feasts”  (ἑορτῶν ἑορτή), the Holy Chrysostom invites one and all to partake of “the banquet of  faith” (τὸ συµπόσιον τῆς πίστεως). 

His grand call to everyone to share in the joy of the Resurrection comes without  price, like the call of the Prophet who said, Let everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and  those who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and  without price (Isaiah 55:1). ii For as we chant on this Holy Night, “let us all forgive all things  in the Resurrection,” iii from the smallest to the greatest of failings, no price is exacted for  the abundance of God’s grace, even grace upon grace (John 1:16).

Indeed, we may not have kept the Fast as we first intended. And some do not keep  the Fast at all. However, our invitation to “the banquet of faith” isn’t simply contingent  upon the quality or quantity of the foodstuffs from which we partake or abstain. Instead,  our participation in the Table as co-banqueters presupposes a high measure of  philanthropy and compassion for our fellow neighbor. 

Thus, the saintly Golden-Mouth calls all to the Table, the Holy Table, without  regard for our fulfillment of the laws around fasting. For on the night of Pascha, the law  of love transcends every shortcoming — if only we will extend the same love and  forgiveness that God grants to us to others. 

My beloved Christians, do not pass by the invitation of Saint John Chrysostom!  Accept it without pride in whatever you think you have attained, and without shame or  regret for how you may have fallen short of your intentions. The Table is laden! Let all  fare sumptuously of God’s eternal mercy and love! 

Χριστὸς Ἀνέστη! Christ is Risen! 


Archbishop of America 

Note: To be read in every parish of the Archdiocese during Agape Vespers on Pascha Sunday, May 5, 2024. 


i. Greek: Νηστεύσαντες καὶ μὴ νηστεύσαντες, ευφράνθητε σήμερον. Ἡ τράπεζα γέμει, τρυφήσατε πάντες. (ὁ Κατηχητικός Λόγος τοῦ Ἁγίου  Χρυσοστόμου) 

ii. Greek: οἱ διψῶντες πορεύεσθε ἐφ᾽ ὕδωρ καὶ ὅσοι μὴ ἔχετε ἀργύριον βαδίσαντες ἀγοράσατε καὶ πίετε ἄνευ ἀργυρίου καὶ τιμῆς οἴνου καὶ στέαρ. 

iii. Greek: Συγχωρήσωμεν πάντα τῇ Ἀναστάσει.