Happy Easter

Happy Easter! Christ is risen! B92.net wishes happy Easter, the greatest Christian holiday, to all believers who celebrate the resurrection of Christ.

Source: B92, Beta
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Shutterstock/ Kateryna Mashkevych
Shutterstock/ Kateryna Mashkevych

The midnight Easter liturgy in the Temple of Saint Sava was served by the newly elected Vicar Bishop Stefan of Remesiana.

His Holiness Patriarch of Serbia Porfirije will serve the Holy Hierarch's Liturgy in the church of St. Sava on Easter, May 2, starting at 9 am, Serbian Orthodox Church announced.

Orthodox Christians gathered today at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem to attend the rite of invocation of the Holy Fire, which is traditionally held on Holy Saturday, the day before Easter, the greatest Christian holiday.

The number of believers this year is far higher than last year, because the anti-epidemic restrictive measures of the Israeli government have been lifted.

Just to reiterate, this is the second Easter that is celebrated during the coronavirus pandemic in the world.

State leadership congratulated Easter to the Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church, the clergy, the monks and the faithful

The President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, congratulated Easter to the Serbian Patriarch Porfirije, the clergy, the monks and all the believers who celebrate the greatest Christian holiday according to the Julian calendar.

"May the eternal joy of the Resurrection be a source of inspiration to always give the right answer in times of various challenges and difficulties, testifying that we are worthy descendants of Stefan Nemanja, Saint Sava and all other saints of the Serbian people," the congratulatory message reads.

The President of Serbia added that the spirit of Easter presents an "eternal inspiration" that everyone should work together, heartily and dedicatedly for the good and progress of Serbia, the Serbian Orthodox Church and the Serbian people.

On behalf of the Government of Serbia, Prime Minister Ana Brnabić wished to the Orthodox believers happy Easter, assessing that the citizens are welcoming the happiest Christian holiday this year "stronger than before and with faith and hope that we will return to the way of life that gave us joy of meeting our neighbors."

"In the past year, we have shown that together we can overcome all the challenges brought to the world by the pandemic and fight hard for the life and health of every human being, because health is the greatest value and treasure. We have shown that solidarity, responsibility and empathy are virtues we must nurture and pass it on to the younger generation and thus build a better future for the whole society and all people", Brnabić stated in the message.

President of the Assembly of Serbia, Ivica Dačić, wished a happy Easter, adding that this holiday should remind us that "life always brings victory over death" and "infuse us with hope and strength to fight the troubles that still threaten the health and lives of our people."

"In the days of Easter holiday, we must turn to unity and solidarity with our neighbors, because that is the only way for our lives to be fulfilled and dignified for better days that we will all welcome together in harmony and attention to each other", said Dačić.

In his Easter greeting, Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikola Selaković stated that the Serbian Orthodox Church and its believers got a "brave spiritual leader" with the recent election of Patriarch Porfirije, who is ready to face all the temptations facing Serbia and the Church.

"On this holiday, let me emphasize my strong belief that with dignified and conscientious management of the Serbian Orthodox Church, with wise words and deeds, you will spread the spirit of unity and solidarity between Church and state on the path of protection and preservation of our tradition, faith and identity, especially when it comes to our people and the Serbian spiritual heritage in Kosovo and Metohija and in the region", Selakovic said.

Easter is the essence of Christian teaching and signifies Christ's resurrection from the dead as a victory of faith and life over death.

People greet each other for this holiday with "Christ is risen!" and "Indeed he is risen!" It is sung in churches: "Christ is risen from the dead, he has overcome the power of death...".

Christ’s Resurrection, as the Good News of the Gospel and an irrefutable fact, is the firm foundation and the heart of the Christian faith. It has become a new birth of humanity for eternal life and a door leading into the world of a new, transfigured reality, the reality of the glory of the Heavenly Kingdom. The words of the Holy Apostle Paul attest to this fully when he said: “But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.”(I Corinthians 15:20)

God, by spreading His arms upon the Cross, has embraced and drawn to Himself all people and all of creation and has come to dwell within us as Eternal Love, full of grace and truth. Therefore let us, by likening ourselves unto Him, embrace each other with God's crucified and resurrected Love! Not only those who love us, but also our enemies! Let us forgive them, because the Lord also forgave us our sins on the Cross, saying, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." (St. Luke 23:34)

Expressing with one mouth and one heart these truths, all of us Orthodox Christians throughout the world today exclaim: "This is the day of resurrection. Let us be illumined by the feast. Let us embrace each other. Let us call “Brothers” of even those that hate us, and forgive all by the resurrection, and so let us cry: Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life.”

Orthodox Christians in more than 60 countries around the world, including Serbia, are celebrating the Resurrection of Christ.

Easter according to the Julian calendar is celebrated by the Russian, Serbian, Georgian, Constantinople, Greek, Bulgarian, Jerusalem and other Orthodox churches.

Serbian Patriarch Porfirije said in his Easter message that the thoughts and prayers of the Serbian Orthodox Church these days are dedicated to all patients, especially those infected with the COVID-19 virus, as well as to all doctors and medical staff who, as he stated, fight selflessly, risking their lives to save those suffering from coronavirus and other diseases.

In the first Easter Epistle since taking office as the first among equals, the Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church Porfirije with all the bishops called for fraternal harmony, internal church, and then national, linguistic and cultural unity of all.

"Do not allow time and circumstances to divide and separate you from each other, and thus from the Mother Church! Despite the fact that you are constantly under certain pressures, which causes disagreements and debates among you, we pray to the Risen Lord for you to rise in him find strength for your unity and virtue for fraternal harmony", Patriarch Porfirije said.

It is a custom among Christians to prepare colored eggs for Easter, on which Christian symbols are drawn. The egg is a symbol of the renewal of nature and life.

This custom is related to the day when Mary Magdalene, preaching the gospel in Rome, reached the emperor Tiberius, to whom she brought a basket of eggs as a gift. The king did not believe in the resurrection of Christ and said that it would be like if the white eggs in the basket changed color. Mary Magdalene said to that: "Christ is risen", and all the eggs in the basket turned red.

According to another legend, the inhabitants of Jerusalem mocked the Christians that Christ was not resurrected because it is impossible, just as it is not possible for chickens to lay red eggs. The following year, on Easter Day, all the hens in Jerusalem laid red eggs.

The red color is a symbol of joy and resurrection, and the first red egg is kept until the next Easter as a "guardian", the protector of the family.

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